rudder

noun rud·der \ ˈrə-dər \

Definition of rudder

1 :an underwater blade that is positioned at the stern of a boat or ship and controlled by its helm and that when turned causes the vessel's head to turn in the same direction
2 :a movable auxiliary airfoil on an airplane usually attached at the rear end that serves to control direction of flight in the horizontal plane — see airplane illustration
3 :a guiding force or strategy

rudderless

play \-ləs\ adjective

Recent Examples of rudder from the Web

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

Origin and Etymology of rudder

Middle English rother, from Old English rōther paddle; akin to Old English rōwan to row


RUDDER Defined for English Language Learners

rudder

noun

Definition of rudder for English Language Learners

  • : a flat, movable piece usually of wood or metal that is attached to a ship, boat, airplane, etc., and is used in steering


RUDDER Defined for Kids

rudder

noun rud·der \ ˈrə-dər \

Definition of rudder for Students

:a movable flat piece attached at the rear of a ship or aircraft for steering


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