noun (1)
\ ˈstir How to pronounce steer (audio) \

Definition of steer

 (Entry 1 of 4)

1 : a male bovine animal and especially a domestic ox (Bos taurus) castrated before sexual maturity — compare stag sense 3
2 : an ox less than four years old


steered; steering; steers

Definition of steer (Entry 2 of 4)

transitive verb

1 : to control the course of : direct especially : to guide by mechanical means (such as a rudder)
2 : to set and hold to (a course)

intransitive verb

1 : to direct the course (as of a ship or automobile)
2 : to pursue a course of action
3 : to be subject to steering the car steers well
steer clear
: to keep entirely away often used with of tries to steer clear of debt


noun (2)

Definition of steer (Entry 3 of 4)

: a hint as to procedure : tip


Definition of steer (Entry 4 of 4)

dialectal British variant of

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Other Words from steer


steerable \ ˈstir-​ə-​bəl How to pronounce steer (audio) \ adjective
steerer noun

Synonyms & Antonyms for steer

Synonyms: Verb

Antonyms: Verb

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guide, lead, steer, pilot, engineer mean to direct in a course or show the way to be followed. guide implies intimate knowledge of the way and of all its difficulties and dangers. guided the scouts through the cave lead implies showing the way and often keeping those that follow under control and in order. led his team to victory steer implies an ability to keep to a course and stresses the capacity of maneuvering correctly. steered the ship through a narrow channel pilot suggests guidance over a dangerous or complicated course. piloted the bill through the Senate engineer implies finding ways to avoid or overcome difficulties in achieving an end or carrying out a plan. engineered his son's election to the governorship

Examples of steer in a Sentence

Verb She steered the ship through the strait. He steered his car carefully into the parking space. He steered the wheelchair through the aisles. Skillful navigators can steer by the positions of the stars. The car was steering right at us. The boat steered out to sea. He tried to steer the conversation away from his recent problems. She skillfully steered the bill through the legislature. He steered the team to another championship last year. The high recent returns on stocks have steered many investors away from bonds.
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First Known Use of steer

Noun (1)

before the 12th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1


12th century, in the meaning defined at transitive sense 1

Noun (2)

1894, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for steer

Noun (1)

Middle English, from Old English stēor young ox; akin to Old High German stior young ox


Middle English steren, from Old English stīeran; akin to Old English stēor- steering oar, Greek stauros stake, cross, stylos pillar, Sanskrit sthavira, sthūra stout, thick

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Time Traveler for steer

Time Traveler

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

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Statistics for steer

Cite this Entry

“Steer.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 12 May. 2021.

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More Definitions for steer



English Language Learners Definition of steer

: to control the direction in which something (such as a ship, car, or airplane) moves
used to describe how easy or difficult it is to steer a vehicle
: to be moved or guided in a particular direction or along a particular course


\ ˈstir How to pronounce steer (audio) \
steered; steering

Kids Definition of steer

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1 : to make a vehicle move in a particular direction steer a boat … she didn't even try to steer around the bumps and holes.— Jack Gantos, Joey Pigza Loses Control
2 : to guide or change the direction of something I tried to steer the conversation away from politics.
3 : to follow a course of action She steers clear of girls who gossip.



Kids Definition of steer (Entry 2 of 2)

: a castrated bull usually raised for beef

Legal Definition of steer

: to subject to steering real estate agents steering Latino buyers

Comments on steer

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