star·​board | \ ˈstär-bərd How to pronounce starboard (audio) \

Definition of starboard

 (Entry 1 of 3)

: the right side of a ship or aircraft looking forward — compare port



Definition of starboard (Entry 2 of 3)

: of, relating to, or situated to starboard


starboarded; starboarding; starboards

Definition of starboard (Entry 3 of 3)

transitive verb

: to turn or put (a helm or rudder) to the right

Examples of starboard in a Sentence


The ship turned to starboard.

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

The force of the collision left multiple punctures in the ship’s starboard hull. Sam Walker, WSJ, "The Truth About Failing Spectacularly," 16 Feb. 2019 New photos show the starboard radar panel, which normally stands approximately forty feet above the surface, submerged. Kyle Mizokami, Popular Mechanics, "That Wrecked Norwegian Frigate Is Pretty Much Toast," 13 Nov. 2018 In the moments after the accident, the hole flooded the ship, causing the destroyer to list towards the bow and starboard even while damage control pumps were furiously pumping water back out of the ship. Kyle Mizokami, Popular Mechanics, "New Photos Reveal Extent of Damage to the USS Fitzgerald," 12 July 2017 As Avgeekery tells it, an E-2C Hawkeye operating from the USS Forrestal over the eastern Mediterranean Sea experienced a fire on its starboard engine. Kyle Mizokami, Popular Mechanics, "The U.S. Navy Once Shot Down One of its Own Planes on Purpose," 10 July 2018 The starboard pump had been busted for a while, but the port-side machine was working fine. Earl Swift, Outside Online, "The Incredible True Story of the Henrietta C.," 20 June 2018 The nebbish and the Croat spent their time drinking caseloads of prosecco and amiably throwing up starboard. Gary Shteyngart, The New Yorker, "The Luck of Kokura," 18 June 2018 Witness accounts say the starboard boiler exploded at about 11 p.m., setting off a grisly chain reaction of death that saw people thrown overboard and drowned, scalded to death, and cut by flying debris, according state historians. Mark Price, charlotteobserver, "The 1838 shipwreck was 'the Titanic of its time.' Divers just made an eerie discovery," 17 June 2018 My group of four friends, along with 4-year-old twin girls, were seated on the starboard deck of Pehrson Lodge Resort's fearsome 38-foot flagship, dubbed the Sabre Jet. Simon Peter Groebner,, "Come sail away at this fun northern Minnesota resort on Lake Vermilion," 6 June 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Adjective

Fitzgerald suffered a huge gash on the starboard side, underneath the bridge and the SPY-1 radar system, as well as large hole in the hull underneath the waterline. Kyle Mizokami, Popular Mechanics, "Stricken Destroyer USS Fitzgerald Leaves Drydock," 18 Apr. 2019 If there were a second drafting airplane, its ideal placement would be on the starboard side, about 6000 feet from the lead. Joe Pappalardo, Popular Mechanics, "Vortex Surfing: Formation Flying Could Save the Air Force Millions on Fuel," 17 July 2013 The ferry itself sustained damage to its starboard fin stabilizer, an element that helps make for a more comfortable ride in rougher waters, said Aurah Landau, a spokeswoman for the state transportation department. Washington Post, "Whale strikes Alaska ferry, may have suffered mortal injury," 22 June 2018 Her 75th Fighter Squadron A-10 was hit by ground fire, taking extensive damage to the starboard vertical stabilizer, horizontal stabilizer, aft fuselage, and engine. Eric Tegler, Popular Mechanics, "Why the A-10 Warthog Is Such a Badass Plane," 19 Nov. 2016 With Jason at the helm, Ed out on deck, the Henrietta C. swung wide and put its starboard side to the wind. Earl Swift, Outside Online, "The Incredible True Story of the Henrietta C.," 20 June 2018 His port and his starboard arms and legs work in tandem, one side dipping slightly to allow the other a brush of air. Chicago Tribune,, "Algren Award runner-up: "Fluid Mechanics" by Mabel Yu," 2 June 2018 On the evening of February 5, Tuscania was seven miles southwest of Islay when it was struck squarely mid-ship on the starboard side by a 2,000-pound torpedo launched by the German submarine UB-77. Richard Kurin, Smithsonian, "A Hundred-Year-Old Handmade American Flag Flies Home… to Scotland," 30 Apr. 2018 Save us a spot in the observation lounge—or maybe at that on-board whiskey bar, on the starboard side of deck eight, where the views of craggy shores and cerulean glaciers are sure to be amazing. Paul Brady, Condé Nast Traveler, "Norwegian Bliss Is the World’s Newest Over-the-Top Cruise Ship," 19 Apr. 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

Sponsons made of rigid foam plastic, and affixed to port and starboard sides of the craft, kept it afloat. Eric Adler, The Seattle Times, "Congress didn’t act after 1999 duck-boat tragedy. Now it must, experts say.," 30 July 2018 An alarm was triggered on the M/V Woods Hole’s starboard propeller Monday, and workers replaced a part of the mechanism later that day, according to the agency. Jeremy C. Fox,, "Steamship Authority cancels ferry trips on Martha’s Vineyard and Nantucket routes," 10 July 2018 Part of the Titanic’s starboard side hull, the largest artifact recovered from the ship to date, is on display. Kim Windyka, Daily Intelligencer, "The 9 Best Offbeat Museums to Visit in Las Vegas," 16 June 2018 Then, at 6:12, the bow abruptly swung hard to starboard, pointing the boat almost due east. Outside Online, "In Search of the Vanished Destination," 17 Apr. 2018 The craft’s starboard bow had collapsed, spilling people overboard and slowly filling the vessel with water. Hereward Holland, National Geographic, "An Up-Close Look at Refugee Rescues on the Mediterranean," 12 Sep. 2016 Video released by the U.S. Central Command shows the Iranian vessel approaching the Thunderbolt’s starboard side, extremely close to the ship’s bow. Andrew Degrandpre, Washington Post, "An Iranian ship refused to heed the Navy’s warning. Then shots were fired.," 25 July 2017 Seven sailors had been missing following the 2:30 a.m. incident, in which a Japanese-chartered container ship named the ACX Crystal broadsided the USS Fitzgerald, caving in part of the destroyer’s starboard side. Chas Danner, Daily Intelligencer, "Several Sailors Found Dead After Collision of U.S. Destroyer and Merchant Ship," 18 June 2017 The craft’s starboard bow had collapsed, spilling people overboard and slowly filling the vessel with water. Hereward Holland, National Geographic, "An Up-Close Look at Refugee Rescues on the Mediterranean," 12 Sep. 2016

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'starboard.' 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 starboard


before the 12th century, in the meaning defined above


15th century, in the meaning defined above


1605, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for starboard


Middle English sterbord, from Old English stēorbord, from stēor- steering oar + bord ship's side — more at steer, board entry 1

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Last Updated

23 Apr 2019

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Time Traveler for starboard

The first known use of starboard was before the 12th century

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More Definitions for starboard



English Language Learners Definition of starboard

: the side of a ship or aircraft that is on the right when you are looking toward the front


star·​board | \ ˈstär-bərd How to pronounce starboard (audio) \

Kids Definition of starboard

: the right side of a ship or airplane looking forward

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More from Merriam-Webster on starboard

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with starboard

Spanish Central: Translation of starboard

Nglish: Translation of starboard for Spanish Speakers

Comments on starboard

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


one that collects or salvages junk

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