aloof /əˈluːf/

a

I. adjective

1. not friendly or forthcoming; cool and distant

they were courteous but faintly aloof
an aloof and somewhat austere figure.
2. conspicuously uninvolved

he stayed aloof from the bickering.
II. derivatives

1. aloofly
adverb


2. aloofness /əˈluːfnəs /
noun


– origin mid 16th cent.: from a-2 (expressing direction) + luff. The term was originally an adverb in nautical use, meaning ‘away and to windward!’, i.e. with the ship’s head kept close to the wind away from a lee shore etc. towards which it might drift. From this arose the sense ‘at a distance’.

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