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
rudderlessplay \-ləs\ adjective
Recent Examples of rudder from the Web
Freeland has also developed a changeup since signing with the Rockies, experimenting with several grips before learning to release the pitch with his ring finger and pinkie, using his thumb as a rudder.
Unfortunately, however, the rudder pushed through the hull, causing the boat to take on water and sink.
The main objective of this unit is to calculate steering commands to the servo rudders in the jet exhaust enabling the computer to keep the rocket on a vertical flight path.
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
First Known Use: 15th century
RUDDER Defined for English Language Learners
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
Definition of rudder for Students
: a movable flat piece attached at the rear of a ship or aircraft for steering
Seen and Heard
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