Merriam-Webster Logo
  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
  • Scrabble
  • Spanish Central
  • Learner's Dictionary

on an even keel

Definition of on an even keel

  1. :  strong and not likely to fail or get worse :  in a normal or stable condition <They struggled to keep the company on an even keel during its early years.> <I'm trying to get back on an even keel now that the lawsuit is settled.>

Word by Word Definitions

  1. :  evening

  1. :  having a horizontal surface :  flat

    :  being without break, indentation, or irregularity :  smooth

    :  being in the same plane or line

  1. :  exactly, precisely

    :  to a degree that extends :  fully, quite

    :  at the very time

  1. :  to make even

    :  to become even

  1. :  cool

  1. :  a flat-bottomed barge used especially on the Tyne to carry coal

  1. :  the chief structural member of a boat or ship that extends longitudinally along the center of its bottom and that often projects from the bottom

    :  this projection

    :  ship

  1. :  to heel or lean precariously

  1. :  red ocher

Seen and Heard

What made you want to look up on an even keel? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).