verb (1)
\ˈvir \
veered; veering; veers

Definition of veer 

(Entry 1 of 3)

intransitive verb

1 : to change direction or course the economy veered sharply downward

2 of the wind : to shift in a clockwise direction — compare back entry 4 sense 2

3 of a ship : to change course by turning the stern to the wind

transitive verb

: to direct to a different course specifically : wear sense 7



Definition of veer (Entry 2 of 3)

: a change in course or direction a veer to the right


verb (2)
veered; veering; veers

Definition of veer (Entry 3 of 3)

transitive verb

: to let out (something, such as a rope)

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Other Words from veer

Verb (1)

veeringly \ˈvir-iŋ-lē \ adverb

Choose the Right Synonym for veer

Verb (1)

swerve, veer, deviate, depart, digress, diverge mean to turn aside from a straight course. swerve may suggest a physical, mental, or moral turning away from a given course, often with abruptness. swerved to avoid hitting the dog veer implies a major change in direction. at that point the path veers to the right deviate implies a turning from a customary or prescribed course. never deviated from her daily routine depart suggests a deviation from a traditional or conventional course or type. occasionally departs from his own guidelines digress applies to a departing from the subject of one's discourse. a professor prone to digress diverge may equal depart but usually suggests a branching of a main path into two or more leading in different directions. after school their paths diverged

Examples of veer in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

Politicians in Washington and American companies accuse China of veering into intimidation and outright theft to get there. Paul Mozur, New York Times, "Inside a Heist of American Chip Designs, as China Bids for Tech Power," 22 June 2018 The cart came from the front of Spiller Field’s concession stand and pressbox, turned the corner, drove straight for a short distance before veering into the bleachers at a high rate of speed. Robert Avery, Houston Chronicle, "Runaway supply cart slams into Spiller Field bleachers during game," 18 June 2018 When the horses approached the first turn, Restoring Hope took a noticeably wide path that went rightward in front of Noble Indy before veering back to the left in a manner that appeared to push Bravazo to an inside position behind Justify. Des Bieler,, "Did Justify get undue help from another Bob Baffert horse in winning at Belmont?," 10 June 2018 In Tuesday's live setting, Bon Iver focused more on wrestling with reality than veering into the abstract. David Lindquist, Indianapolis Star, "Five ways Bon Iver expanded minds at White River State Park," 6 June 2018 The simple, clean lines of the gown (the skirt was of medium fullness without veering fluffy) let Markle shine, as did the understated makeup by American Daniel Martin. Tony Bravo, San Francisco Chronicle, "Meghan Markle weds Prince Harry in modest yet modern Givenchy gown," 19 May 2018 As part of that, the US Navy ran exercises to demonstrate how close US warships could get to Soviet bases and American bombers flew directly toward Soviet airspace before veering away at the last minute. Terry Hartle, The Christian Science Monitor, "'1983' chronicles a Cold War-era narrow escape from nuclear war," 2 May 2018 Between the colors and the fabrics, everything manages to feel perfectly retro without veering into twee. Tyler Watamanuk, GQ, "Four Essential Menswear Drops to Shop This Weekend," 27 Apr. 2018 Then, last October, Schleicher was arrested after driving drunk with five of the children in her car at highway speeds before veering into a median cable barrier near Rochester, Minn., according to the Post-Bulletin. Marwa Eltagouri, Washington Post, "‘One of the worst DUI offenders in the U.S.’ arrested again — this time in Illinois," 6 Apr. 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

The city policy veers from state law in another notable way: the city won’t enforce donor disclosures on social media posts, emails and text communications. David Garrick,, "San Diego requiring greater transparency on campaign ad donors," 16 May 2018 Generally, those to the right of the political spectrum tend to be pro-capitalist; those on the left veer toward anti-capitalism. Kim Kelly, Teen Vogue, "What “Capitalism” Is and How It Affects People," 11 Apr. 2018 Even though Knudsen stuck to the run-heavy veer offense until the end, rather than turn to the spread passing game that so many schools recently have employed, the Eagles' offense moved the ball. Nick Daschel,, "Chris Knudsen retires as Centennial football coach after 32-year run," 9 Apr. 2018 Daisy loves earrings and veers towards more delicate pieces, while Mimi is into rings and goes for a stronger more Art Deco aesthetic. A-LIST, "Family Jewels," 24 Dec. 2017 USA TODAY Sports The wishbone led to the veer led to the flexbone led to Nebraska’s dynasty of the 1990s, and then the traditional option offense dropped off the map. Paul Myerberg, USA TODAY, "Army-Navy: The triple option levels the playing field against competition," 8 Dec. 2017 Once Peters hit a few throws to create some space, Michigan hammered Rutgers with powers and counters and sprinkled in a bit of inverted veer for good measure. Nick Baumgardner, Detroit Free Press, "Michigan football stock watch: 3 up, 3 down after win vs. Rutgers," 29 Oct. 2017 Other Yangon folk veer alarmingly into the kind of language of conspiracy that enables genocide. The Economist, "BanyanIs the world getting Myanmar wrong?," 26 Oct. 2017 But their route to another victory took a sharp veer after Iowa State scored on seven of its next eight possessions. Tim Griffin, ajc, "Iowa State rallies to stun No. 3 Oklahoma, 38-31," 7 Oct. 2017

Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

The report issued last week detailed how Comey and other senior law enforcement officials veered away from Justice Department practice, policies, and professional standards in their handling of the Clinton case. Devlin Barrett,, "Republicans hammer FBI over handling of Clinton e-mail probe," 20 June 2018 The Thai side of the menu veers away from the blunt instrument of tradition with an engaging consommé-style shrimp tom yum soup and a balanced and good sweet-and-sour pad thai. Mike Sutter, San Antonio Express-News, "Review: Dominion spot Kin Thai & Sushi makes sushi and Thai a happy couple," 24 May 2018 Peréz has veered away from the rail before, out of self-preservation more than anything. Jonas Shaffer,, "For jockeys, goggles are a necessary shield against horse racing's nastier elements," 19 May 2018 That show, as hosted by Hill and Smith, often veered away from sports -- sometimes too much -- and turned off viewers. Joey Morona,, "ESPN finds its new 'SportsCenter' at 6 p.m. hosts in Sage Steele and Kevin Negandhi," 10 May 2018 The Gulf Stream, the warm water current where hurricanes can power up, historically veers away from the United States around the Carolinas or Virginia. CBS News, "Global warming is slowing Atlantic Ocean circulation, study finds," 12 Apr. 2018 The woman's car veered into a canal near Alma School Road south of the Loop 202 freeway in north Mesa, according to the Mesa Fire Department. Chris Coppola, azcentral, "Mesa firefighters rescue woman from car submerged in a canal," 9 July 2018 The flavors, too, veer dark -- think dusty red berry, medicinal cherry and tea leaf. Esther Mobley,, "The rebranding of organic wine," 28 June 2018 Steph Curry and Kevin Durant's fairytale-partnership veered towards a reality-show drama before the Finals. Ben Golliver,, "Steph Curry and Kevin Durant Put Their Tug-of-War Behind Them," 4 June 2018

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

Verb (1)

15th century, in the meaning defined at intransitive sense 1


circa 1611, in the meaning defined above

Verb (2)

15th century, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for veer

Verb (1)

Middle English veren, probably altered from Anglo-French virer "to whirl, turn, revolve" (continental Old French, "to throw with a twisting motion"), going back to Vulgar Latin *vīrāre, reduced from Latin vibrāre "to wave, propel suddenly" — more at vibrate

Note: The vowel change (e in Middle English, i in French) is of unclear motivation. Cf. Old Scots wyr, wyre "to throw along a curving trajectory," vyre "to turn about a fixed point," apparently borrowed from Anglo-French virer with no alteration of vowel.


noun derivative of veer entry 1

Verb (2)

Middle English veren, borrowed from Middle Dutch *vieren or Middle Low German vīren, perhaps from a Frisian verbal derivative of Old Frisian fīr "far"; akin to Old English feorr far entry 1

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Learn More about veer

Dictionary Entries near veer

vee engine




veer away

veer off course


Phrases Related to veer

veer off course

Statistics for veer

Last Updated

11 Oct 2018

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for veer

The first known use of veer was in the 15th century

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More Definitions for veer


\ˈvir \
veered; veering

Kids Definition of veer

: to change direction

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Comments on veer

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