from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

  • adv. At, in, toward, or close to the stern of a vessel or the rear of an aircraft or spacecraft.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. The stern portion of a vessel.
  • adv. At, near, or towards the stern of a vessel (with the frame of reference within the vessel).

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • adv. Near or towards the stern of a vessel; astern; abaft.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • Nautical, in, near, or toward the stern of a ship: as, the aft part of the ship; haul aft the main-sheet, that is, further toward the stern.
  • Oft; often.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • adv. at or near or toward the stern of a ship or tail of an airplane
  • adj. (nautical, aeronautical) situated at or toward the stern or tail


from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

Middle English afte, back, from Old English æftan, behind; see apo- in Indo-European roots.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

From Old English æftan ("behind"); originally superlative of of ("off"). See after.


  • This, of necessity, was the severest of all, for he had been compelled to load his comrade in aft of the balance.

    Chapter VIII

  • The owner was dancing excitedly about and demanding an explanation, but by that time Big Alec's partner had crawled aft from the bowsprit and was peering apprehensively over the rail into the cockpit.

    The King of the Greeks

  • At this moment the steward, bound aft from the galley, paused in the doorway and listened, grinning.


  • I caught him aft from the galley on a trip to the lazarette for provisions.


  • You see, I am no navigator, he explained a few minutes later, as he stood by the captain aft, the latter with gaze wandering from aloft to overside as he estimated the Pyrenees 'speed.


  • He had wrapped the case in plastic and tied it carefully to the bar in front of the stern seat, which we now knew—thanks to Jane—was called the aft thwart.

    Every little thing in the world

  • Just aft from the short forward raised deck, Fydel stood, the wind blowing his dark hair back, a big hand on a rigging cable, confident - appearing in the cool sea air under the bright green-blue sky.

    Colors of Chaos

  • Oh, well, the sailors for'ard may be hard-bitten, but I can promise Miss West that here, aft, is one male passenger, unmarried and never married, who is an equally hard-bitten adventurer on the sea of matrimony.

    Chapter 15

  • About nine o'clock, Roger, who was away up in the bows of the leading boat, keeping a lookout, passed the word aft to the officer in charge that they had just opened up a light, apparently on shore.

    Across the Spanish Main A Tale of the Sea in the Days of Queen Bess

  • As soon as he divulged the fact of his being on board, which he took care should not happen till he thought the ship must be out of sight of land; the captain had him called aft, and after giving him a thorough shaking, and threatening to toss her overboard as a tit-bit for John

    Redburn. His First Voyage


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