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June 8, 2022

Aloof / adjective / ə-ˈlüf

In the English language, we use the word "aloof" to describe the attitude and characteristics of a person deemed antisocial or neutral in social situations. While most people use the word "aloof" in a negative capacity, the word actually describes a state of neutrality in social situations that are neither positive nor negative. In most cases, we see "aloof" people as detached or disinterested, standoffish and those who stay off to themselves in social situations.

In a Sentence

The woman at the party seemed aloof when she didn't engage with any of the other guests.

We see antisocial people as uncaring or aloof in most social situations.

Her aloof response to the party invite was off putting to the hostess.


Aloof is a 15th-century word found in early Middle English and Dutch. In Middle English "aloof" comes from the word ‘loof‘, which was a nautical term that denoted wind direction. The Dutch used the word "aloof" as a derivative of ‘loef' which describes the side of the ship experiencing the most tumultuous weather.

We derived the word "aloof" from early 15th-century nautical terms designed to communicate to ship captains to "steer clear" of objects that may cause a collision while still keeping them in view. Aloof now represents the same "steering clear" of people and situations instead of nautical objects.


Distant, Antisocial


Friendly, Familiar


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