from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 5th Edition.

  • intransitive verb Nautical To swerve off course momentarily or temporarily.
  • intransitive verb To turn about the vertical axis. Used of an aircraft, spacecraft, or projectile.
  • intransitive verb To move unsteadily; weave.
  • intransitive verb To cause to yaw.
  • noun The act of yawing.
  • noun Extent of yawing, measured in degrees.

from The Century Dictionary.

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

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English.

  • verb (Naut.) 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.
  • noun (Naut.) A movement of a vessel by which she temporarily alters her course; a deviation from a straight course in steering.
  • intransitive verb To rise in blisters, breaking in white froth, as cane juice in the clarifiers in sugar works.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License.

  • noun 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.
  • noun 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.
  • noun An act of yawing.
  • noun nautical A vessel's motion rotating about the vertical axis, so the bow yaws from side to side; a characteristic of unsteadiness.
  • noun The extent of yawing, the rotation angle about the vertical axis
  • verb intransitive, aviation To turn about the vertical axis while maintaining course.
  • verb intransitive, nautical To swerve off course to port or starboard.
  • verb intransitive, nautical To steer badly, zigzagging back and forth across the intended course of a boat; to go out of the line of course.

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

  • verb deviate erratically from a set course
  • verb swerve off course momentarily
  • noun an erratic deflection from an intended course
  • verb be wide open


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

[Perhaps of Scandinavian origin.]


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  • 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

  • "Way" in reverse.

    February 3, 2007

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

    May 23, 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

  • 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

  • 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

  • "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,, 5 May 2009.

    May 5, 2009