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
But foreign policy, at least in times of peace and prosperity as the world mostly is experiencing now, is about nudging the rudder of massive ships of state.
Ganbare’s keel was deeper, there was less wetted surface, and — in what became a Peterson trademark — the larger blade rudder was far aft and immediately below the transom.
Less than three years earlier, another AirAsia flight crashed into the Java Sea and killed everyone on board, the result of a faulty rudder control system.
Less than three years ago, an AirAsia flight crashed into the Java Sea because of a faulty rudder control system.
On their new craft, every button, every rudder, every foil, every piece of rigging was wired with fiber-optic strings and sensors.
But after only a few minutes in the water, the boat’s rudder snapped.
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.
The smaller two at the back (rudders with T-foils) are almost always both in the water, unless something has gone wrong.
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 centurySee Words from the same year
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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