Word of The Day for Monday, February 21, 2011


yaw (yaw)

verb (used without object)
1. to deviate temporarily from a straight course, as a ship
2. (of an aircraft) to have a motion about its vertical axis
3. (of a rocket or guided missile) to deviate from a stable flight attitude by oscillation of the longitudinal axis in the horizontal plane

verb (used with object)
4. to cause to yaw

5. a movement of deviation from a direct course, as of a ship
6. a motion of an aircraft about its vertical axis
7. an angle, to the right or left, determined by the direction of motion of an aircraft or spacecraft and its vertical and longitudinal plane of symmetry
8. (of a rocket or guided missile) the act of yawing; the angular displacement of the longitudinal axis due to yawing

1546; from O.N. jaga, O.Dan. jæge "to drive, chase," from M.L.G. jagen, from O.H.G. jagon, from P.Gmc. *jagojanan

Synonyms: bank, curve, deviate, slue, swerve, turn, veer, weave, zigzag
Related Words: yacht

Sentence Examples:
• Just in time I blow my horn, and your boat she yaw a little. Then I see you come all down. Eh, wha-at? I think you are cut into baits by the screw, but you dreeft—dreeft to me, and I make a big fish of you. So you shall not die this time. -Captains Courageous, Rudyard Kipling

• She had evidently more on her than she could bear; yet it was in vain to try to take it in--the clewline was not strong enough; and they were thinking of cutting away, when another wide yaw and a come-to, snapped the guys, and the swinging boom came in, with a crash, against the lower rigging.  -Two Years Before the Mast, Richard Henry Dana

• We had almost despaired of escaping, when fortunately one of our shot brought down the advanced frigates fore topsail yard, and we soon found we were leaving her. The second yawed, and gave us a broadside; only two of her shot took effect by striking near the fore channels. Her yaw saved us, as we gained on her considerably. -A Sailor of King George, The Journals of Captain Frederick Hoffman

Sources: Dictionary.com, Online Etymology

Word-E: A Word-A-Day

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