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[luhf] /lʌf/

noun, Nautical.
the forward edge of a fore-and-aft sail.
verb (used without object)
to bring the head of a sailing ship closer to or directly into the wind, with sails shaking.
(of a sail) to shake from being set too close to the wind:
The sail luffed as we put about for port.
to raise or lower the outer end of the boom of a crane or derrick so as to move its load horizontally.
verb (used with object)
to set (the helm of a ship) in such a way as to bring the head of the ship into the wind.
to raise or lower the outer end of (the boom of a crane or derrick).
(nautical) the leading edge of a fore-and-aft sail
tackle consisting of a single and a double block for use with rope having a large diameter
(nautical) to head (a sailing vessel) into the wind so that her sails flap
(intransitive) (nautical) (of a sail) to flap when the wind is blowing equally on both sides
to move the jib of (a crane) or raise or lower the boom of (a derrick) in order to shift a load

c.1200, in sailing, from Old French lof “spar,” or some other nautical device, “point of sail,” also “windward side,” probably from Germanic (cf. Middle Dutch lof “windward side of a ship” (Dutch loef), which might also be the direct source of the English word), from Proto-Germanic *lofo (cf. Old Norse lofi, Gothic lofa “palm of the hand,” Danish lab, Swedish labb “paw”), from PIE *lep- “to be flat” (see glove). As a verb from late 14c., from the noun.

Related Terms

first luff


Read Also:

  • Luff-tackle

    noun, Nautical. 1. a tackle having a double block and a single block, giving a mechanical advantage of three or four, neglecting friction, depending on which is the standing and which is the running block.

  • Luff-on-luff

    noun, Nautical. 1. a tackle composed of one luff attached to the fall of another.

  • Lufkin

    [luhf-kin] /ˈlʌf kɪn/ noun 1. a city in E Texas.

  • Luftwaffe

    [loo ft-vahf-uh] /ˈlʊftˌvɑf ə/ noun, German. 1. air force. /ˈlʊftvafə/ noun 1. the German Air Force German air force in World War II era, 1935, from German Luftwaffe, literally “air-weapon,” from Luft (see loft). Luftwaffe [(looft-vah-fuh)] The German air force in World War II. (See blitzkrieg and Battle of Britain.)

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