Definition of aloof in English:


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  • 1Not friendly or forthcoming; cool and distant.

    ‘they were courteous but faintly aloof’
    • ‘an aloof and somewhat austere figure’
    • ‘I consider myself warm and friendly, but I act cool and aloof with other people.’
    • ‘We keep our distance, lower our expectations, stay cool, aloof, and separate.’
    • ‘For the remainder of the night, she was very quiet, much to her friends' protests for being aloof and distant.’
    • ‘And likewise, I try to remain a little distant and aloof, and not reveal too much of myself and my ditziness.’
    • ‘Lewis, charming and avuncular, is far easier to relate to than the aloof and distant Freud.’
    • ‘It's really hard to be cool and aloof here if some little pill makes you bawl about everything.’
    • ‘He's like Han Solo in Armani, ultra cool, aloof and with a sardonic put down for every occasion.’
    • ‘I sat down next to her and tried to strike up a conversion about old times - but she was aloof and distant.’
    • ‘When he first came into the job, he was viewed as cool, aloof and intelligent.’
    • ‘Staying out of the media spotlight can lead to accusations of being aloof or distant or smug.’
    • ‘People who had not attended any of the prior gatherings came and while some were friendly, others were aloof.’
    • ‘Napoleon appears most distant and aloof in his demeanour when considered from his right side, from which point the eyes are least visible.’
    • ‘If you don't really know him, you might think he's a little distant, aloof, but he's not at all.’
    • ‘He was much more approachable with his cool, aloof expression replaced by a mild, slightly humorous smirk.’
    • ‘Tessa's tone was cool and aloof, but Rogers could sense the apprehensive undertone.’
    • ‘Sometimes he seemed on edge, about ready to explode at her in anger, but there were also times that he could be cool and aloof.’
    • ‘He's so aloof and distant that it somehow draws people to him.’
    • ‘Michael did not suffer fools gladly and could seem aloof and distant at times, but this was his rather old-world formality.’
    • ‘Hiding behind a shag of brown hair, Yorn was all at once charming, aloof, cool and engaging.’
    • ‘It might be thought that I am aloof, smug, emotionally cool or that I believe that I am better than anyone else.’
    distant, detached, unresponsive, remote, unapproachable, forbidding, stand-offish, formal, impersonal, stiff, austere, stuffy, withdrawn, reserved, unforthcoming, uncommunicative, indifferent
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    1. 1.1Conspicuously uninvolved and uninterested, typically through distaste.
      ‘he stayed aloof from the bickering’
      • ‘It is all becoming too complicated and so most subscribers prefer to keep themselves aloof from the row for now and watch serials in peace.’
      • ‘Neither country can afford to stand aloof from the United Nations.’
      • ‘The so-called modern society has kept itself aloof from this feeling.’
      • ‘His mind does not remain aloof from the page, it enters the page and is absorbed in it, because it is not blocked by the ego.’
      • ‘He will also strictly keep aloof from their activities if they try to scuttle the success of another star's film.’
      • ‘The Sphinx, aloof from such matters of little consequence, waits patiently beyond the pool.’
      • ‘He encouraged his writers to remain slightly aloof from the world they were covering.’
      • ‘I was by no means the only writer who asked herself how she could remain aloof from these events.’
      • ‘The man seemed to have grasped the essence of standing aloof from worldly anxieties and vexations.’
      • ‘They cannot stay aloof from politics or business and simultaneously be political and entrepreneurial.’
      • ‘The two souls, deeply attached to each other, stand aloof from other members of the family.’
      • ‘No, you keep yourself aloof from the free designer clothes and parties with royalty of the celebrity culture.’
      • ‘She was raised to be an aristocrat from birth, and had lived in luxury aloof from the world at large.’
      • ‘Ministers stayed aloof from the groups they had worked with in opposition.’
      • ‘He was the watcher, aloof from the passions around him while others lived it.’
      • ‘Such a phenomenon is often perceived with greater clarity by those aloof from it.’
      • ‘It is to her credit that she has managed to stay aloof from such obvious labelling.’
      • ‘Mennonites and their cousins, the Amish, generally stayed aloof from politics.’
      • ‘Dominic had held himself aloof from everyone, wounding them in the process.’
      • ‘He didn't explain how he persuaded them not to remain aloof from his experimental interventions.’
      independent, standing on one's own two feet, self-sufficient, self-reliant, introverted, undemonstrative, quiet, private, aloof, insular, reserved, unemotional, uncommunicative, reticent, secretive
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/əˈlo͞of/ /əˈluf/


Mid 16th century from a- (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’.