aloofness

Aloofness is a noun meaning a state of being distant, remote, or withdrawn. Someone showing aloofness might be shy, or just really doesn't want to be around people.

Aloofness is from the adjective aloof — originally a nautical term. The lee side of a ship was the sheltered side, but in a storm, if the wind was blowing your ship toward shore, you wanted to steer toward the loof (or weather side) of the ship, so that you weren't forced into the shore. Thus literally trying to keep your distance from shore by steering a loof, which gave rise to the more figurative meaning of being distant.

Definitions of aloofness
  1. noun
    a disposition to be distant and unsympathetic in manner
    synonyms: remoteness, standoffishness, withdrawnness
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    types:
    unapproachability
    a disposition to be unapproachable; unfriendly and inaccessible
    type of:
    unsociability, unsociableness
    an unsociable disposition; avoiding friendship or companionship
  2. noun
    indifference by personal withdrawal
    synonyms: distance
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    type of:
    indifference
    unbiased impartial unconcern
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