Aloof



at a distance, especially in feeling or interest; apart:
They always stood aloof from their classmates.
reserved or reticent; indifferent; disinterested:
Because of his shyness, he had the reputation of being aloof.
Contemporary Examples

The GOP lambasted the president for being too aloof and casual about leaks that endanger national security.
Stop Calling Obama Aloof! Paul Begala May 19, 2013

The collapse of the economy made her glossy, aloof brand look suddenly dated.
How Anna Turned It ‘Round Tina Brown September 10, 2009

Some of Downey’s muttery performances and Hoffman’s aloof Capote fit this category.
Mumbling Wins Oscars! Zachary Pincus-Roth March 2, 2010

Many Daley loyalists harbored deep suspicions about a fellow they deemed effete and aloof.
James Warren: Romney Attacks on Chicago Misguided James Warren July 17, 2012

But intangibles also count when a president, particularly one long viewed as aloof, has to do double duty as the mourner-in-chief.
Obama’s Next Impossible Speech Howard Kurtz January 12, 2011

Historical Examples

He knew them not; aloof, solitary, self-contained, he had coldly held himself outside the circle of all that was best in life.
Lone Pine R. B. (Richard Baxter) Townshend

Little Fay was as obstreperous as Tony was disagreeably silent and aloof.
Jan and Her Job L. Allen Harker

He stood, aloof, at one side of the veranda, as the newcomer alighted from the car.
Lad: A Dog Albert Payson Terhune

All the people who had seemed so warmly near to him were aloof and cold.
Despair’s Last Journey David Christie Murray

He seemed so aloof, as though his spirit walked alone in dark places where she could not follow.
Skyrider B. M. Bower

adjective
distant, unsympathetic, or supercilious in manner, attitude, or feeling
adj.

1530s, from a- (1) + Middle English loof “weather gage,” also “windward direction,” probably from Dutch loef (Middle Dutch lof) “the weather side of a ship.” Originally a nautical order to keep the ship’s head to the wind, thus to stay clear of a lee-shore or some other quarter; hence the figurative sense of “at a distance, apart” (1580s). Related: Aloofly; aloofness.

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