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English Dictionary      examples: 'day', 'get rid of', 'New York Bay'

Luff   Listen
Luff  v. i.  (past & past part. luffed; pres. part. luffing)  
(Naut.) 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.
(Naut.) To flutter or shake from being aligned close to the direction of the wind; said of a sail.
To luff round, or To luff alee, to make the extreme of this movement, for the purpose of throwing the ship's head into the wind.

Collaborative International Dictionary of English 0.48

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"Luff" Quotes from Famous Books

... any water or provisions, and but six tons of ballast on board, she was thrown over almost instantly, so far as to refuse to obey her helm, the pressure of the water on the lee bow rather inclining her to luff; seeing which, I directed the helm to be put down, hoping that I might luff and shake the wind out of her sails, until the force of the squall should be spent. The quartermaster at the helm had hardly time to obey this order, before the ...
— The Medallic History of the United States of America 1776-1876 • J. F. Loubat

... nose was as high as the seven-part tackle would bring it, with all men heaving who could find room at the windlass-brakes. Then they clapped a luff-tackle on the fall, and by heaving on this, nippering and fleeting up, they lifted the fore-hatch and forecastle scuttle out of water—which was enough. Before this another gang had been able to slip the other ...
— "Where Angels Fear to Tread" and Other Stories of the Sea • Morgan Robertson

... the sound of the reef soon redoubled on the starboard side of the bow. They must luff again. John put the helm down again and brought her up. The breakers increased under the bow of the vessel, and it was necessary to put her about to regain the open sea. Whether she would be able to go about under shortened sail, and badly trimmed as she was, remained to be seen, but there ...
— In Search of the Castaways • Jules Verne

... have an eye to the enemy, to luff when she luffed, and "putte roomer," or sail large, when he saw her helmsman put the helm up. If the enemy made signs that she was about to lay the ship aboard, either by loosing more sail, or altering her course, the gunner had to remember ...
— On the Spanish Main - Or, Some English forays on the Isthmus of Darien. • John Masefield

... cottage interior, the usual first flat, with the cloak upon the nail, the rosaries of onions, the gun and powder-horn and corner-cupboard; here is the inn (this drama must be nautical, I foresee Captain Luff and Bold Bob Bowsprit) with the red curtain, pipes, spittoons, and eight-day clock; and there again is that impressive dungeon with the chains, which was so dull to colour. England, the hedgerow elms, the thin brick houses, windmills, glimpses of the navigable Thames—England, ...
— The Works of Robert Louis Stevenson, Volume 9 • Robert Louis Stevenson

... sheets!" &c.; "luff now, and keep her close to the wind!"—the same monotonous words of command all through the night every time they lay over upon a new tack, while at the same time they would generally ship a heavy sea, and the vessel would shake through ...
— The Pilot and his Wife • Jonas Lie

... her within range he went to one of the guns, Captain Bland took charge of another, the mate of a third, and I, no one interfering, prepared to fire the fourth, all run out at the same side. We were now well to windward, all our guns pointed high. The captain, ordering the man at the helm to luff up, fired; the rest of us in succession followed his example. Our crew gave a hearty cheer, for the schooner's main gaff was shot away, and the next moment down came her fore-topmast, the square topsail hanging over the ...
— The Two Whalers - Adventures in the Pacific • W.H.G. Kingston

... quarters of an hour, and several of the Richard's twelve-pounders also had been put out of action, Captain Pearson thought he saw an opportunity, the Serapis having veered and drawn ahead of the Richard, to luff athwart the latter's hawse and rake her. But he attempted the manoeuvre too soon, and perceiving that the two ships would be brought together if he persisted in his course, he put his helm alee, bringing the two vessels in a line; and the Serapis having ...
— Paul Jones • Hutchins Hapgood

... trended the coast southerly, which was all champaign and full of grass, but the island somewhat woody. Twelve leagues from Cape Cod, we descried a point with some breach, a good distance off, and keeping our luff to double it, we came on the sudden into shoal water, yet well quitted ourselves thereof. This breach we called Tucker's Terror, upon his exprest fear. The point we named Point Care; having passed it we bore up again with ...
— Great Epochs in American History, Vol. II - The Planting Of The First Colonies: 1562—1733 • Various

... we saw the mate standing on the bowsprit, and crying out Luff! Luff! to some one in the dark water before the ship. In that direction, we could just see a light, and then, the great black hull of a strange vessel, that was coming down on us obliquely; and so near, that we heard the flap of her topsails as they shook in the wind, ...
— Redburn. His First Voyage • Herman Melville

... were beaten out of the field. The true believers were, of course, indignant at this conduct of an infidel and a stranger; and as they could not weather on him in the fair way of trade, they determined to try if they could not "choke his luff" by a practical expedient. Paying him a visit one day, they spoiled his stock in trade, broke his gear, gave him a good thrashing, and told him to take that as a gentle hint of what they would do if he did not behave ...
— Blackwood's Edinburgh Magazine, Volume 61, No. 380, June, 1847 • Various

... her anchor, and the top-sails set, the capstan bars were shipped again, the men all heaved with a will, the messenger grinned, the anchor was torn out of China with a mighty heave, and then ran up with a luff tackle and secured; the ship's head ...
— Hard Cash • Charles Reade

... most partic'lar fine officer he is, as every body says. Well, sir, he's with the ladies; while his namesake has gone back to the table, and has put luff upon luff, ...
— The Two Admirals • J. Fenimore Cooper

... her. That officer ought to have known that trick. That will be a lesson to you, Mr Jim. If ever you're in a little ship, and you get chased by a big ship, you keep on till she's right on top of you, and then luff hard all you know, and the chances are you'll get a mile start before they come round ...
— Jim Davis • John Masefield

... your luff, old hypocrite! Respectable, ah yes, respectable, You, with your seat in the new Meeting-house, Your cow-right on the Common! But who's this? I did not know the Mary Ann was in! And yet this is my old friend, Captain Goldsmith, ...
— The Complete Poetical Works of Henry Wadsworth Longfellow • Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

... clear water under our keel we passed shoal and reef and low-lying island. Now we saw a Tonquinese trader running before the wind, a curious craft, with one mast and a single sail bent to a yard at the head and stiffened by bamboo sprits running from luff to leech; now a dingy nondescript junk; now in the offing a fleet of proas, which caused us grave concern. But in all our passage only one event was ...
— The Mutineers • Charles Boardman Hawes

... gun of our nation's natal day At the rise and set of sun, Shall boom from the far north-east away To the vales of Oregon. And ships on the seashore luff and tack, And send the ...
— Blackwoods Edinburgh Magazine, Volume 59, No. 366, April, 1846 • Various

... No fighting on the premises. Stand up, you rascal. What have you done with the pewter? Ah, crushed out of all shape and use. That's what Molly Luff sed of her new bonnet when she sat down on it—Lawk, a biddy! Who'd ...
— The Broom-Squire • S. (Sabine) Baring-Gould

... hour of deliberation his guardian angel, who was the only one having his interests really at heart, and who loved him unselfishly,—this angel advised him in the similitude of a dream to "luff a little and go round the obstacles." Jason luffed, and passed on with colors flying; which was doubtless much better than trying to squeeze through the floating islands in the midst of ...
— Lippincott's Magazine of Popular Literature and Science, Vol. XII, No. 29. August, 1873. • Various

Words linked to "Luff" :   edge, pilotage, navigation, fore-and-aft sail, sail, sailing, roll, wave, point

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