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Aft, in naval terminology, is an adjective or adverb meaning, towards the stern (rear) of the ship, when the frame of reference is within the ship, headed at the fore. Example: "Able Seaman Smith; lay aft!". Or; "What's happening aft?"
- The corresponding adjective, in distinguishing one feature of the vessel from another is after. See the caption to the right. Its antonym is forward.
- The corresponding preposition is abaft. For example, the mizzenmast is abaft the mainmast. Its antonym is before or, in a more clumsy form, forward of.
- For the acronym, see AFT (disambiguation).
Aft also describes the direction of movement within an aircraft; that is, towards the tail. Example: "Let's go aft". Meaning to pull back on the yoke. It may also describe the back/tail location or region within an aircraft cabin. Example: "Aft lavatory".
The difference between aft and stern is that aft is the inside (onboard) rearmost part of the vessel, while stern refers to the outside (offboard) rearmost part of the vessel. The stern is opposite the bow, the "outside" (offboard) of the front of the boat.
- Oxford English Dictionary 2nd. Edition (1989)
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