from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition
- n. The act of sailing closer into the wind.
- n. The forward side of a fore-and-aft sail.
- n. Archaic The fullest part of the bow of a ship.
- intransitive v. To steer a sailing vessel closer into the wind, especially with the sails flapping.
- intransitive v. To flap while losing wind. Used of a sail.
- transitive v. To sail (a vessel, such as a yacht) closer into the wind during a race so as to prevent an opponent's craft from passing on the windward side.
- transitive v. To raise or lower (the boom of a crane or derrick).
from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License
- n. The vertical edge of a sail that is closest to the direction of the wind.
- v. To shake due to being trimmed improperly.
- v. To alter course to windward so that the sails luff. (Alternatively luff up)
- v. To alter the vertical angle of the jib of a crane so as to bring it level with the load.
from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English
- n. The side of a ship toward the wind.
- n. The act of sailing a ship close to the wind.
- n. The roundest part of a ship's bow.
- n. The forward or weather leech of a sail, especially of the jib, spanker, and other fore-and-aft sails.
- intransitive v. To turn the head of a vessel toward the wind; to sail nearer the wind; to turn the tiller so as to make the vessel sail nearer the wind.
- intransitive v. To flutter or shake from being aligned close to the direction of the wind; -- said of a sail.
from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia
- n. A variant of loof.
- n. The wooden case in which the light is carried in the sport of lowbelling.
- n. Nautical
- n. The fullest and broadest part of a vessel's bow; the loof.
- n. The weather-gage, or part of a ship toward the wind.
- n. The sailing of a ship close to the wind.
- n. The weather part of a fore-and-aft sail, or the side next the mast or stay to which it is attached.
- n. A luff-tackle.
- Naut., to bring the head of (a vessel) nearer to the wind.
- To steer or come nearer to the wind.
- n. Lieutenant: as, he is first luff.
- To lift (the boom of a derrick).
from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.
- n. (nautical) the forward edge of a fore-and-aft sail that is next to the mast
- v. sail close to the wind
- v. flap when the wind is blowing equally on both sides
- n. the act of sailing close to the wind
Middle English lof, spar holding out the windward tack of a square sail, from Old French, probably of Germanic origin.(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
Collins English Dictionary states that this word is ultimately derived from Middle Dutch loef. Ellert Ekwall's Shakspere's Vocabulary: its etymological elements (1903) related this verb and loof instead to the East Frisian verb lofen, lufen, which would make it cognate to the French term lover. (Wiktionary)