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’.