helms·man | \ˈhelmz-mən \

Definition of helmsman 

: the person at the helm : steersman

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Other Words from helmsman

helmsmanship \ˈhelmz-mən-ˌship \ noun

Examples of helmsman in a Sentence

had a complaint and demanded to talk to the helmsman of this vast construction project, not some underling

Recent Examples on the Web

Burling had the higher profile, becoming the youngest helmsman in the Cup’s 167-year history to win it. Christopher Clarey, New York Times, "At the Volvo Ocean Race, Teammates Turn Into Rivals, for Now," 17 May 2018 Russian women, for example, cannot be ship’s helmsmen (in order, apparently, to protect their reproductive health). The Economist, "Many countries suffer from shrinking working-age populations," 5 May 2018 Mr Xi, after all, is now being called the Communist Party’s core, helmsman of the country and the people’s leader—all titles associated with Mao Zedong. The Economist, "China’s President Xi Jinping designates some sidekicks," 22 Mar. 2018 It was ingrained in the language: seaman, helmsman, fisherman, longshoreman, yachtsman. Carl Nolte, San Francisco Chronicle, "Young Oakland woman part of maritime industry’s new guard," 27 Jan. 2018 The National Transportation Safety Board panel found that a rigid bridge hierarchy contributed to the disaster because officers and helmsmen were reluctant to contest his decision. Author: Ian Simpson, Anchorage Daily News, "Captain’s overconfidence and poor crew training sank El Faro, NTSB says," 13 Dec. 2017 The move, intended to make operating the ship more manageable, ended up taking away the helmsman’s ability to steer. Eric Schmitt, Thomas Gibbons-neff And Helene Cooper, New York Times, "Navy Collisions That Killed 17 Sailors Were ‘Avoidable,’ Official Inquiry Says," 1 Nov. 2017 In response, the captain put a second sailor in charge of shifting speed control while keeping the steering with the helmsman. Dan Lamothe, Washington Post, "‘Multiple failures’ by sailors standing watch contributed to deadly Navy collisions, investigation finds," 1 Nov. 2017 The helmsman reported a loss of steering, prompting the commanding officer to order the ship’s speed from 10 knots to five knots. Dan Lamothe, Washington Post, "‘Multiple failures’ by sailors standing watch contributed to deadly Navy collisions, investigation finds," 1 Nov. 2017

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'helmsman.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of helmsman

1590, in the meaning defined above

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Dictionary Entries near helmsman


helm port

helm roof





Statistics for helmsman

Last Updated

14 Sep 2018

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Time Traveler for helmsman

The first known use of helmsman was in 1590

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English Language Learners Definition of helmsman

: a person (especially a man) who steers a ship or boat

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lying above or upon

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