Definition of aloof in English:



  • 1Not friendly or forthcoming; cool and distant.

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detached, unresponsive, remote, unapproachable, forbidding, stand-offish, formal, impersonal, stiff, austere, stuffy, withdrawn, reserved, unforthcoming, uncommunicative, indifferent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