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Luff   Listen
noun
Luff  n.  (Naut.)
(a)
The side of a ship toward the wind.
(b)
The act of sailing a ship close to the wind.
(c)
The roundest part of a ship's bow.
(d)
The forward or weather leech of a sail, especially of the jib, spanker, and other fore-and-aft sails.
Luff tackle, a purchase composed of a double and single block and fall, used for various purposes.
Luff upon luff, a luff tackle attached to the fall of another luff tackle.






Collaborative International Dictionary of English 0.48








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"Luff" Quotes from Famous Books



... said. It had never taken me like that before; but the want of her took and shook all through me, like the wind in the luff of a sail. ...
— Island Nights' Entertainments • Robert Louis Stevenson

... wind much more westerly after we rounded the point, which made our progress slow and tedious; the more so, as we had every minute to luff for one piece of ice and to bear up for another, by which much ground ...
— Three Voyages for the Discovery of a Northwest Passage from the • Sir William Edward Parry

... islands, great and small, were seen, besides loose ice in abundance, so that we were obliged to luff for one piece, and bear up for another, and as we continued to advance to the south, it increased in such a manner, that at three quarters past six o'clock, being then in the latitude of 67 deg. 15' S., we could proceed no farther; ...
— A Voyage Towards the South Pole and Round the World, Volume 1 • James Cook

... amazement we saw the Defiance and the Windsor, though they had received but two or three broadsides apiece (in one of which Dick Cludde got a severe hurt) luff out of gunshot, so that the two sternmost ships of the French were free to lay upon the Breda. I think I never saw a man in such a passion of anger as Mr. Benbow was then. He mingled hot reproaches of the erring captains ...
— Humphrey Bold - A Story of the Times of Benbow • Herbert Strang

... 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 ...
— Redburn. His First Voyage • Herman Melville

... scuddled before the gale, and in less than two hours was close to the headland pointed out by the master. "Now, Newton, we must hug the point or we shall not fetch—clap on the main sheet here, all of us. Luff, you may, handsomely.—That's all right; we are past the Sand-head and shall be in smooth water in a jiffy.—Steady, so-o.—Now for a drop of swizzle," cried Thompson, who considered that he had kept sober quite long enough, and proceeded to the cask of rum lashed to leeward. ...
— Newton Forster • Frederick Marryat

... advice from nobody; but one morning as he was running in, heavy loaded with pilchar's, after being out all night, and getting the biggest haul ever known, such a haul as they never get nowadays, he was coming right in, and a chap on the pier there shouts to him, 'luff, Tom, luff! She won't do it this tide.' 'Then she shall jump it,' says Tom, who wouldn't luff a bit, but rams his tiller so as to drive right at the rock. You see there was lots o' room at the sides, ...
— Menhardoc • George Manville Fenn

... early, and Fernando slept soundly. It was Terrence who awoke them and said it would not do to be late. He had engaged a sailor called Luff Williams to take them in his boat to the spot, a long sandy beach behind a high promontory some five or six miles from the city. The spot was quite secluded, and Terrence declared it a love of a ...
— Sustained honor - The Age of Liberty Established • John R. Musick,

... 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 ha' ...
— The Broom-Squire • S. (Sabine) Baring-Gould

... diet such as is required in gouty patients, so long as the digestion is not impaired. Benefit is also derived from the administration of cod-liver oil, and of tonics, such as strychnin, arsenic, and iron, and in some cases of iodide of potassium. Luff recommends the administration over long periods of guaiacol carbonate, in cachets beginning with doses of 5-10 grs. and increased to 15-20 grs. thrice daily. A course of treatment at one of the reputed spas—Aix, Bath, Buxton, Gastein, Harrogate, Strathpeffer, ...
— Manual of Surgery - Volume First: General Surgery. Sixth Edition. • Alexis Thomson and Alexander Miles

... und noding good to eat. Ve liffed in a house de English manager gif us. Dere's a Chile meat gompany owns de island, und grows sheep. Aboud a gouple of hundred kanakas chase de sheep. Ve vas dreaded vell mit de vimmen makin' luff und the kanakas glad mit it. Dere vas noding else to do. De manager he say no ship come for six months, und he vanted us to blant bodadoes, und ve had no tobacco. He say de bodadoes get ripe in eight months, und I dink if I shtay dere eight months I go grazy. Ve vas ragged, ...
— Mystic Isles of the South Seas. • Frederick O'Brien

... 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 brig was on her beam ends, and the water pouring into ...
— The Medallic History of the United States of America 1776-1876 • J. F. Loubat

... the solar system—and, by enlarging the parallax, be able to measure the distance of a greater number of fixed stars. Put your helm hard down and shout 'Hard-a-lee!' You see, there is nothing simpler. You keep her off now, and six months hence you let her luff." "That's an idea!" said Bearwarden. "Our orbit could be enough like that of a comet to cross the orbits of both Venus and Mars; and the climatic extremes would not be inconvenient. The whole earth being simultaneously warmed or cooled, there would be no equinoctials or storms resulting from ...
— A Journey in Other Worlds • J. J. Astor

... speak of. He has only lost three fingers. That was why I wrote this letter—or report, I ought to call it, if anybody else had written it. Oh, sir! I cannot bear to think of it! I was fifth luff when the fight began, and now there is only one left above me, and he is in command of our biggest prize, the Ville d'Anvers. But, Admiral, here you will find it all, as I wrote it, from the lips, when they tied up the fingers, ...
— Springhaven - A Tale of the Great War • R. D. Blackmore

... mariner &c 269. flight, trip; shuttle, run, airlift. V. sail; put to sea &c (depart) 293; take ship, get under way; set sail, spread sail, spread canvas; gather way, have way on; make sail, carry sail; plow the waves, plow the deep, plow the main, plow the ocean; walk the waters. navigate, warp, luff^, scud, boom, kedge; drift, course, cruise, coast; hug the shore, hug the land; circumnavigate. ply the oar, row, paddle, pull, scull, punt, steam. swim, float; buffet the waves, ride the storm, ...
— Roget's Thesaurus of English Words and Phrases: Body • Roget

... work of reefing easier for the hands, the captain had directed the men at the wheel by a quick motion which they understood to "luff her up" a bit, so as to flatten the sails; and now, on the folds of the main-topsail ballooning out before being hoisted again as it caught the wind, the sail flapped back and jerked the unfortunate fellow off the yard, his hands clutching vainly at ...
— Afloat at Last - A Sailor Boy's Log of his Life at Sea • John Conroy Hutcheson

... drew near a crisis. We had been obliged to luff a little, in order to clear a reef that even Marble admitted lay off Montauk, while the Leander had kept quite as much away, with a view to close. This brought the fifty so near us, directly on our weather beam, as to ...
— Miles Wallingford - Sequel to "Afloat and Ashore" • James Fenimore Cooper

... more sensitive on the subject of bodily disabilities than once we were. Old junk, however, can yet be "worked up," as the sea expression goes, into other uses, and that perhaps was what Mr. Oldjunk meant; his early adventures as a young "luff" were, for economical reasons, worked up into their present literary shape, with the addition of a certain amount of extraneous matter—love-making, and the like. Indeed, so far from uselessness, that veteran seaman and rigid economist, ...
— From Sail to Steam, Recollections of Naval Life • Captain A. T. Mahan

... now over 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 ...
— Hard Cash • Charles Reade

... a few ratlines in the mizzen rigging, and looked to windward, laughing all the time: but, all of a sudden, there was a great change in his manner. "Good heavens, it is alive—LUFF!" ...
— A Simpleton • Charles Reade

... don't you recollect how we used to skylark in the lee scuppers with those jolly fellows, Buntline and Reeftackle, until the Luff had to hail, and send a Middy with his compliments to the gentlemen of the larboard watch, and to say, that if quite agreeable to them, less noise would be desirable? I say, Jack, you seem to ...
— Select Temperance Tracts • American Tract Society

... all my work was over and I was on my way to my berth, it occurred to me that I should like an apple. I ran on deck. The watch was all forward looking out for the island. The man at the helm was watching the luff of the sail and whistling away gently to himself, and that was the only sound excepting the swish of the sea against the bows and around the sides of ...
— Treasure Island • Robert Louis Stevenson

... then a midshipman, writes to the author that he still recalls, after the lapse of nearly sixty years, the kindness, consideration and hospitality shown him by the future admiral, who was then known through the service as the "Little Luff" Farragut—luff being a naval abbreviation, now obsolete, for lieutenant. But with all his kindness there was no relaxation in the enforcement of necessary duty. In December, 1832, he was again ordered to ...
— Admiral Farragut • A. T. Mahan

... moorings parted. Most fascinating to listen to waves and chain breaking. In the thick haze I saw the ice astern breaking up and the shore receding. I called all hands and clapped relieving tackles (4-in. Manila luff tackles) on to the cables on the forepart of the windlass. The bos'n had rushed along with his hurricane lamp, and shouted, 'She's away wi' it!' He is a good fellow and very conscientious. I ordered steam on main engines, and the engine-room staff, ...
— South! • Sir Ernest Shackleton

... 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 lost her headway by this evolution, ...
— Paul Jones • Hutchins Hapgood

... deck there; I see a whole fleet of twenty sail coming right before the wind." "Confound the luck of it, this is some convoy or other, but we must try if we can pick some of them out." "Haul down the studding-sails! Luff! bring her to the wind! Let us see what we can make ...
— Thrilling Narratives of Mutiny, Murder and Piracy • Anonymous

... thick about us, and several had passed through our sails before we tacked. Immediately we came into the Queen Charlotte's wake we tacked, lay up well for the enemy's rear, and began a severe fire, giving it to each ship as we passed. My Lord Howe in the Charlotte kept his luff, and cut through their line between the 4th and 5th ship in the rear. We followed, and passed between the 2nd and 3rd. The rest of the fleet passed to leeward. Their third ship gave us a severe broadside on the bow as we approached to pass under her ...
— The Life of Captain Matthew Flinders • Ernest Scott

... him the ministerial office; and being, though little in person, yet great in opinion of himself, nothing less would serve him than to go and convert the Pope; in order whereunto, he having a better man than himself, John Luff, to accompany him, travelled to Rome, where they had not been long ere they were taken up and clapped into prison. Luff, as I remember, was put in the Inquisition, and Perrot in their Bedlam, ...
— The History of Thomas Ellwood Written by Himself • Thomas Ellwood

... our own," said Griffith, rousing again; "though we had better anchor. Luff, fellow, luff—you are broadside ...
— The Pilot • J. Fenimore Cooper

... the 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

... to be reduced to six men and the Powder-boy, that being the least number required to perform the evolution, and the gun to be discharged and run in. The Captain hauls taut the train-tackle and chokes the luff, and the Loader and Sponger place the chocking-quoins forward of the front trucks, and proceed to sponge and load the gun in the usual manner. The 2d Sponger and 2d Loader haul taut side-tackles and choke luffs, or, if rolling deep, hitch the falls round ...
— Ordnance Instructions for the United States Navy. - 1866. Fourth edition. • Bureau of Ordnance, USN

... old Uncle Tommy Luff, just in from the fishing grounds off the Mull, where he had been jigging for stray cod all day long, had moored his punt to the stage-head, and he was now coming up the path with his sail over his shoulder, his back to the wide, flaring sunset. Bagg ...
— Billy Topsail & Company - A Story for Boys • Norman Duncan

... Wilkinson attended the funeral of young Gough, and writes of the incident with feeling, but without inspiration. Gough perished early in April, and his body was not found till July 22nd, 1805. A reference to his fate will be found in Lockhart's 'Life of Scott' (vol. ii. p. 274); also in a letter of Mr. Luff of Patterdale, to his wife, July 23rd, 1805. Henry Crabb Robinson records (see his 'Diary, Reminiscences', etc., vol. ii. p. 25) a conversation with Wordsworth, in which he said of this poem, that "he purposely made the narrative as prosaic ...
— The Poetical Works of William Wordsworth, Vol. III • William Wordsworth

... and here, it appeared to me, was an excellent opportunity for me to establish good relations between ourselves and the savages by taking a hand in the game that was evidently toward. I accordingly laid down the telescope and, as I reached for the rifles, directed Billy to luff and head the boat straight for the spot where the blacks were gathered. As I rapidly threw open the breeches of the rifles, to assure myself that the weapons were loaded, the leading swimmer reached shallow water and, rising to its feet, revealed itself as a gigantic anthropoid ape, probably ...
— The Strange Adventures of Eric Blackburn • Harry Collingwood

... boy came into the mess. They said he was a French boy, but the first luff says he is ...
— Atlantic Monthly, Volume 14, No. 84, October, 1864 - A Magazine Of Literature, Art, And Politics • Various

... the Saxon, quite quietly. "It was in my mind that when a sail was bent to the yard it was bent with the luff to the fore ...
— King Alfred's Viking - A Story of the First English Fleet • Charles W. Whistler

... a strong gust of wind filled the sails, and, as James was not seaman enough to "luff" or "let go the sheet," the Speedwell same very near capsizing. As she righted, the wind again filled the sails, and the boat was driven with great speed toward the shore. Frank had barely time to pull up the center-board before her bows ran high upon the bank, and the sheet was roughly ...
— Frank, the Young Naturalist • Harry Castlemon

... had fallen off, and took the wind so far on the beam that she buried her scuppers deep in the waves. The order to "touch her up," or luff her up into the wind, so as partially to spill the sail, was given to ease off the tremendous pressure. The Josephine minded her helm, and luffed so that she ...
— Dikes and Ditches - Young America in Holland and Belguim • Oliver Optic

... and moan of the sea's dirge, Its plangor and surge; The awful biting sough Of drifted snows along some arctic bluff, That veer and luff, ...
— Behind the Arras - A Book of the Unseen • Bliss Carman

... 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, As sure as I stand in the bilboes here. ...
— The Complete Poetical Works of Henry Wadsworth Longfellow • Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

... technicalities would strike a seaman of the present day as being quite modern. The sixteenth-century skipper would be readily understood by a twentieth-century helmsman in the case of such orders as these: Keep full and by! Luff! Con her! Steady! Keep close! Our modern sailor in the navy, however, would be hopelessly lost in trying to follow directions like the following: Make ready your cannons, middle culverins, bastard culverins, falcons, sakers, slings, headsticks, murderers, passevolants, ...
— Elizabethan Sea Dogs • William Wood

... Bermudas. May 27, 1812.] Accordingly he hauled by the wind and passed way to windward of the American. As Commodore Decatur got within range, he eased off and fired a broadside, most of which fell short [Footnote: Marshall, iv, 1080.]; he then kept his luff, and, the next time he fired, his long 24's told heavily, while he received very little injury himself. [Footnote: Cooper, 11, 178.] The fire from his main-deck (for he did not use his carronades ...
— The Naval War of 1812 • Theodore Roosevelt

... her loosened looks Seemed like the jagged storm-rack, and her feet Only the spume that floats on hidden rocks, And, marking how the rising waters beat Against the rolling ship, the pilot cried To the young helmsman at the stern to luff ...
— Poems • Oscar Wilde

... the anchor under-weigh!" The captain loudly cried; "Ho! lubbers brave, belay! belay! For we must luff for Falmouth ...
— The Book of Humorous Verse • Various

... a mile of the point, and fully expected to weather it, when again the wet and heavy sails flapped in the wind, and the ship broke off two points as before. The officers and seamen were aghast, for the ship's head was right on to the breakers. "Luff now, all you can, quarter-master," cried the captain. "Send the men aft directly. My lads, there is no time for words—I am going to club-haul the ship, for there is no room to wear. The only chance you have of safety is to be cool, watch my eye, and execute ...
— Peter Simple and The Three Cutters, Vol. 1-2 • Frederick Marryat

... sir? not that it matters much about him if the captain and first luff are all right. I suppose she has four on board, as she ...
— By Conduct and Courage • G. A. Henty

... not cut, wait, I will luff," he cried, in great distress. And he ran to the helm and turned the rudder. But the boat scarcely obeyed it, being impeded by the net which kept it from going forward, and prevented also by the force of the tide and ...
— Maupassant Original Short Stories (180), Complete • Guy de Maupassant

... Johnson save on the Ghost, and they resolutely began the windward beat. It was slow work in the heavy sea that was running. At any moment they were liable to be overwhelmed by the hissing combers. Time and again and countless times we watched the boat luff into the big whitecaps, lose headway, and be flung back ...
— The Sea-Wolf • Jack London

... a 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, to fetch ...
— The Two Admirals • J. Fenimore Cooper

... 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 ...
— The Mutineers • Charles Boardman Hawes

... following persons: Mr. E.B. Kennedy (leader), Mr. W. Carron (botanist), Mr. T. Wall (naturalist), Mr. C. Niblet (storekeeper), James Luff, Edward Taylor, and William Costigan (carters), Edward Carpenter (shepherd), William Goddard, Thomas Mitchell, John Douglas, Dennis Dunn (labourers), and Jackey-Jackey, an aboriginal native of the Patrick's Plains tribe, of ...
— Voyage Of H.M.S. Rattlesnake, Vol. 2 (of 2) • John MacGillivray

... "Luff all you can," said Murray to the helmsman, for he naturally dreaded, should the wind increase, to find himself with a rocky coast under his lee, though he had ...
— The Three Admirals • W.H.G. Kingston

... eastward. Our pursuers were on the opposite tack and fast approaching; a reef intervened, and when abeam, distant about half a mile, they opened fire both with their small arms and boat-gun. The second shot from the latter was well directed; it grazed our mast and carried away the luff of the mainsail. Several Minie balls struck on our sides without penetrating; we did not reply, and kept under cover. When abreast of a break in the reef, we up helm, and again went off before the wind. The schooner was now satisfied ...
— Famous Adventures And Prison Escapes of the Civil War • Various

... course by the beacon that still blazed in the grate of old Roger de Blonay. With his eye riveted on the luff of his sail, his hip bearing hard against the tiller, and a heart that relieved itself, from time to time, with bitter sighs, he ruled the bark like a ...
— The Headsman - The Abbaye des Vignerons • James Fenimore Cooper

... either to turn her back upon the enemy or sail through one of his squadrons. The first alternative Greenville dismissed as dishonourable to himself, his country, and her Majesty's ship. Accordingly, he chose the latter, and steered into the Spanish armament. Several vessels he forced to luff and fall under his lee; until, about three o'clock of the afternoon, a great ship of three decks of ordnance took the wind out of his sails, and immediately boarded. Thence-forward, and all night long, the REVENGE, held her own single-handed against the Spaniards. ...
— Virginibus Puerisque • Robert Louis Stevenson

... Captain Smith, when this fact was announced. "Luff, my man, luff, and keep her as near it ...
— Graham's Magazine, Vol. XXXII No. 4, April 1848 • Various

... Reuben. "Know her luff anywheres. Foots it like a witch, and handles like a lady. A boy could sail her; and she'll carry farty ...
— The Gentleman - A Romance of the Sea • Alfred Ollivant



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



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