aloof

Definitions

  • A kitten sits aloof, while a woman sits with a puppy on her lap watching a dog playing
    A kitten sits aloof, while a woman sits with a puppy on her lap watching a dog playing
  • WordNet 3.6
    • adj aloof remote in manner "stood apart with aloof dignity","a distant smile","he was upstage with strangers"
    • adv aloof in an aloof manner "the local gentry and professional classes had held aloof for the school had accepted their sons readily enough"
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Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary
    • Aloof At or from a distance, but within view, or at a small distance; apart; away. "Our palace stood aloof from streets."
    • prep Aloof Away from; clear from. "Rivetus . . . would fain work himself aloof these rocks and quicksands."
    • n Aloof (Zoöl) Same as Alewife.
    • Aloof Without sympathy; unfavorably. "To make the Bible as from the hand of God, and then to look at it aloof and with caution, is the worst of all impieties."
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Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia
    • aloof At a distance, but within view; intentionally remaining apart, literally or figuratively; withdrawn.
    • aloof At or to a distance from; away or apart from.
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Chambers's Twentieth Century Dictionary
    • adv Aloof a-lōōf′ at a distance: apart
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Quotations

  • Homer
    Homer
    “But curb thou the high spirit in thy breast, for gentle ways are best, and keep aloof from sharp contentions.”
  • Charles G. Dawes
    Charles G. Dawes
    “Mediocrity requires aloofness to preserve its dignity.”

Etymology

Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary
Pref. a-, + loof, fr. D. loef, luff, and so meaning, as a nautical word, to the windward. See Loof Luff
Chambers's Twentieth Century Dictionary
Pfx. a- (—A.S. on), on, and Loof, prob. Dut. loef. See Luff.

Usage

In literature:

There were mighty gay doings again at Urach, but Stuttgart held aloof.
"A German Pompadour" by Marie Hay
Be thou still free and beautiful, and far Aloof from desolation!
"My Recollections of Lord Byron" by Teresa Guiccioli
With her especially he exhausted every resource to keep her aloof and secluded.
"Charles Frohman: Manager and Man" by Isaac Frederick Marcosson and Daniel Frohman
Now she drew herself away and stood aloof, with her heart beating fast and furiously.
"Vixen, Volume II." by M. E. Braddon
Antony and the Duchessa di Donatello alone seemed somewhat aloof from them.
"Antony Gray,--Gardener" by Leslie Moore
The father held scornfully aloof; his attitude was characteristic.
"Judith of the Cumberlands" by Alice MacGowan
This impression of aloofness was increased by his personal appearance.
"A Virginia Scout" by Hugh Pendexter
Despite his aloofness, Milt was not unpopular in his class.
"Free Air" by Sinclair Lewis
The Roumanian peasants, seeing no help from Russia, held aloof.
"A History of the Nineteenth Century, Year by Year" by Edwin Emerson
The Convention stood aloof, in cold disdain.
"Lectures on the French Revolution" by John Emerich Edward Dalberg-Acton
But Rustum came last night; aloof he sits And sullen, and has pitch'd his tents apart.
"Poetical Works of Matthew Arnold" by Matthew Arnold
That devotion had held him aloof from other women.
"Making People Happy" by Thompson Buchanan
But after a time, like one in a trance, she began to yield up her indifference and aloofness.
"IT and Other Stories" by Gouverneur Morris
Rather, if anything, he had been more silent, more taciturn, more aloof than ever.
"The Rhodesian" by Gertrude Page
From this traffic Pitt stood haughtily aloof.
"Critical and Historical Essays, Volume III (of 3)" by Thomas Babington Macaulay
And the Baptist minister stood aloof and said he always knew these union affairs would never bring anything but trouble.
"In Orchard Glen" by Marian Keith
I think that the mysterious aloofness of our passengers served to keep the interest warm.
"Hurricane Island" by H. B. Marriott Watson
Hilda held herself aloof; and, even when she might have exchanged a few confidential words, she did not choose to do so.
"The Cryptogram" by James De Mille
He had, however, preserved his attitude of aloofness and extraneousness.
"The River Prophet" by Raymond S. Spears
For a time he held aloof from them, and when he did speak he showed great reserve.
"A History of the English Church in New Zealand" by Henry Thomas Purchas
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In poetry:

ALOOF from his tribe
On the elm-tree's top,
A jackdaw perched
A hand-reach up.
"Jackdaw" by Padraic Colum
For they are gone, who fought;
But still the skies
Stretch blue, aloof, unchanged,
From rise to rise.
"Burial Stones" by Frank Prewett
The while upon his terraced roof
The loved Apostle to his Lord
In silent thought aloof
For heavenly vision soared.
"Monday In Easter Week" by John Keble
From doubtful questions of the "Press"
He wisely holds aloof;
In all polemics, more or less,
His argument is "proof."
"The Happy Printer" by Henry Austin Dobson
Nor his eyes can yet behould
The deare lyghte of the sun:
Butt aloofe he stealles his flyghte
And in the darke dothe run.
"The Faire Amarillis" by Edward Dyer
Swiftly to where he lay encamped
It flew, yet breathed aloof
From woman's feeling, and he stamped
A heel more like a hoof.
"Archduchess Anne" by George Meredith

In news:

Snyder's nerdocracy remakes Michigan while voters remain aloof .
Master takes apprentice in the art of being aloof .
An Army private charged with sending US secrets to the website WikiLeaks had a history of suicidal thoughts and aloof behavior that outweighed a psychiatrist's opinion that he posed no risk to himself, two former counselors testified Sunday.
An Army private charged with sending US secrets to the website WikiLeaks had a history of suicidal thoughts and aloof behavior that outweighed a psychiatrist's opinion that he was no risk to himself, two former counselors testified Sunday.
An Army private charged with sending US secrets to the website WikiLeaks had a history of suicidal thoughts and aloof behavior that outweighed a psychiatrist's opinion that he was no risk to himself, two former counselors testified today.
OK, sorta cool in that aloof guitar-hero way, but so whacked out on hard drugs and liquor for most of his life, kinda pathetic, really.
I believe Ted Cruz is out of touch and can be aloof.
Northwest teen Bella Swann falls in love with Edward Cullen, a mysteriously aloof, fair-skinned but exceedingly well-educated young man who confesses to being a "vegetarian" vampire.
There's also much of "Slap Shot" to be seen in the aloof LaFlamme and his mostly sophomoric, dysfunctional teammates.
" The country's biggest problems at the time, according to the excerpt unearthed by a Reddit user, were slow travel, "aloof" locals, and "banditry.
Legislators came to regard him as aloof.
Some people think that cats are all the same: mysterious, aloof and independent.
There again were the black suits and red ties, the bodyguards in blue uniforms, the women in white, the aloof cast of the eyes and the earthly manner: the Nation of Islam.
An Army private charged with sending US secrets to the website WikiLeaks had a history of suicidal thoughts and aloof behavior that outweighed a psychiatrist 's opinion that he posed no risk to himself, two former counselors testified Sunday.
Is that guy in your networking group consistently aloof.
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In science:

His words of encouragement and understanding were a welcome change from some of the aloof attitudes prevalent in the department at the time.
Variational Principles in General Relativity
Within a classical university where there is an atmosphere of interweaving tones and halftones, rich colours and subtle tinges of humanities with exact as well as natural sciences not a single teacher or scholar can stand fully aloof from the problem of two cultures.
Schrodinger's cat and the problem of two cultures
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