Definitions

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

  • intransitive v. Nautical To swerve off course momentarily or temporarily: The ship yawed as the heavy wave struck abeam.
  • intransitive v. To turn about the vertical axis. Used of an aircraft, spacecraft, or projectile.
  • intransitive v. To move unsteadily; weave.
  • transitive v. To cause to yaw.
  • n. The act of yawing.
  • n. Extent of yawing, measured in degrees.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. The rotation of an aircraft, ship, or missile about its vertical axis so as to cause the longitudinal axis of the aircraft, ship, or missile to deviate from the flight line or heading in its horizontal plane.
  • n. The angle between the longitudinal axis of a projectile at any moment and the tangent to the trajectory in the corresponding point of flight of the projectile.
  • n. An act of yawing.
  • n. A vessel's motion rotating about the vertical axis, so the bow yaws from side to side; a characteristic of unsteadiness.
  • n. The extent of yawing, the rotation angle about the vertical axis
  • v. To turn about the vertical axis while maintaining course.
  • v. To swerve off course to port or starboard.
  • v. To steer badly, zigzagging back and forth across the intended course of a boat; to go out of the line of course.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • n. A movement of a vessel by which she temporarily alters her course; a deviation from a straight course in steering.
  • v. To steer wild, or out of the line of her course; to deviate from her course, as when struck by a heavy sea; -- said of a ship.
  • intransitive v. To rise in blisters, breaking in white froth, as cane juice in the clarifiers in sugar works.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • To go unsteadily; bend or deviate from a straight course: chiefly nautical.
  • To move aside; move from one side to the other.
  • To rise in blisters, breaking in white froth, as cane-juice in the sugar-works.
  • n. Nautical, a temporary deviation of a ship or vessel from the direct line of her course.
  • n. One of the tubercles characteristic of the disease known as yaws.
  • n. A thin or defective place in cloth.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • v. deviate erratically from a set course
  • v. swerve off course momentarily
  • n. an erratic deflection from an intended course
  • v. be wide open

Etymologies

Perhaps of Scandinavian origin.
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)

Examples

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  • "At the bottom of the craft is a flexible skirt which is controlled by releasing or pulling in a ring around the bottom of it. This directs the flow of air, and makes for a very simple and reportedly intuitive 360-degree steering process via a joystick. We're not sure how yaw will be controlled."
    - Entecho's Hoverpod: the 3-seat, skirt-steered, 75mph VTOL flying saucer, gizmag.com, 5 May 2009.

    May 5, 2009

  • Yesyes, that's the one. (It was a little before I ever watched the news, so this is the first I've heard of it, but I'd imagine most people would find the expatiation interesting.)

    August 13, 2008

  • Is that the Sioux City, Iowa crash? (sorry, I'm at work and can't watch the clip right now!) I remember seeing that on the news the night it happened. That pilot is—all pilots really are—remarkable in so many ways.

    August 13, 2008

  • I just ran into this word in reference to flying, in this documentary: a pilot chooses to board a plane that meets the one-in-a-billion chance of total hydrolic failure, and manages to land it, against odds that no one on board would survive. The guy's very well-spoken, and goes into a good amount of detail — it's an unbelievable story, and a comforting reminder of just how capable these people are.

    August 13, 2008

  • To move unsteadily side to side; to rotate about a vertical axis. (from Phrontistery)

    May 23, 2008

  • "Way" in reverse.

    February 3, 2007

  • a. Naut. Of a vessel: To deviate temporarily from the straight course, as through faulty or unsteady steering; to turn to one side or from side to side in her course.

    b. Aeronaut. and Astronaut. Of an aircraft or spacecraft: to rotate about a vertical axis, to undergo yawing.

    February 2, 2007