AskDefine | Define abaft

Dictionary Definition

abaft adv : at or near or toward the stern of a ship or tail of an airplane; "stow the luggage aft"; "ships with square sails sail fairly efficiently with the wind abaft"; "the captain looked astern to see what the fuss was about" [syn: aft, astern] [ant: fore]

User Contributed Dictionary



From a- "on" + Old English baft, baften, biaften, Anglo Saxon beæftan; be "by" + æftan "behind". See after, aft, by



  1. Behind; toward the stern relative to some other object or position; aft of
    abaft the wheelhouse.


(nautical) Behind; toward the stern relative to some other object or position; aft of


  1. On the aft side
    with the wind abaft
    The mate sleeps abaft


(nautical) On the aft side


Extensive Definition

200px|This picture was taken abaft the funnel on an early steamship. Notice that the ventilator [[Cowl (chimney)|cowls on either side of the funnel are directed towards the stern of the vessel.]] Abaft is a nautical expression indicating a point that is behind a given part of a boat or ship. For example, "abaft the funnel" means behind the ship's funnel (chimney). (If not qualified, abaft means "behind the mid-point of a ship or group of ships".)
Note that unqualified or in the "abaft the beam" form, abaft does not necessarily refer to a point actually on the ship; it may refer to a point some significant distance away.
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