verb (1)
\ ˈvir How to pronounce veer (audio) \
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 How to pronounce veer (audio) \ 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 Dreams are vital, but without some idea of how to get there, dreams can veer wildly off course. Michael Mcmullen, Forbes, "How To Scale A Business Without Skewering It," 9 Apr. 2021 Anything else can veer into information protected by the ADA. Kristina Davis, San Diego Union-Tribune, "Can your employer require a vaccine? Probably. So can a restaurant or hotel.," 8 Apr. 2021 The truck was driving on the wrong side of the road, which caused another pick-up truck to slam on its breaks and veer into the grass to avoid a collision. John Benson, cleveland, "Driving in wrong lane, impaired Grafton man nearly hits pick-up truck: Broadview Heights Police Blotter," 7 Apr. 2021 In a sport like baseball, one that is trying to veer away from stoicism, and instead, seep into the personalities of its players, Green understood that the audacity would serve a purpose., "Red Sox unveil yellow jerseys as part of ‘City Connect’ venture with Nike," 6 Apr. 2021 Alam’s novel pushes at the confines of the form, asking readers to veer away from the central story to consider other lives, other experiences. Emily Gray Tedrowe, USA TODAY, "Review: Rumaan Alam's timely 'Leave the World Behind' is the best book you can read right now," 4 Oct. 2020 Prior to the pandemic, airlines were expected to veer off course from that trajectory in 2020. Josh Siegel, Washington Examiner, "Daily on Energy: Explaining the oil market’s muted response to Suez Canal blockade," 25 Mar. 2021 After years of disagreement on the issue, alimony-overhaul advocates and the Bar’s Family Law Section supported the proposal, which would have also eliminated permanent alimony while giving judges some discretion to veer from the formula. Dara Kam,, "Alimony battle flares again in Florida Legislature," 23 Mar. 2021 The requirement for employers to perform fit tests annually was set aside amid the public health emergency, giving employers little incentive to veer from the industry-standard models like 3M that were used for years. Christina Jewett, CNN, "FEMA okayed export of N95 masks as workers cried for more," 19 Feb. 2021 Recent Examples on the Web: Noun But, perhaps worn down from being on the field for too many plays against the split back veer rushing attack, Karr allowed touchdowns on four of the five drives that began the second half. Chris Dabe,, "Dabe: State runner-up Karr has been here before; loss will not slow Cougar football machine," 30 Dec. 2020 But the Justices, especially Coney Barrett, ask a lot of questions about why the government should be able to intrude on private property all without some sort of compelling justification, this would signal a much harder veer to the right. Evan Gerstmann, Forbes, "On Monday The Supreme Court May Reveal Just How Conservative It Really Is," 21 Mar. 2021 Carencro runs the same split back veer offense successfully used by Curtis for several decades. Chris Dabe,, "Karr tries to join football elite with fifth straight title, but powerful Carencro stands in way," 28 Dec. 2020 The Rams run a split-back veer offense that is similar to the offense used at Curtis. Chris Dabe,, "They meet again: Karr-Easton, Destrehan-Acadiana are familiar postseason opponents," 17 Dec. 2020 Curtis replied when asked how often his team plays against other veer option teams. Chris Dabe,, "John Curtis, Acadiana bring near-identical veer offenses into first meeting since 1980," 10 Oct. 2020 Pilot whales have strong social ties and even if only a few members of a pod veer off course, the others often follow. NBC News, "Australia begins disposal of hundreds of dead whales as rescue efforts end," 26 Sep. 2020 Rather, the story was that Joe Biden regrets the veer to the left that the ACA became because the political backlash made the Obama administration a lame-duck administration by the first midterm. Kevin A. Hassett, National Review, "Evaluating the Impact of Biden’s Health-Care Plans," 29 Oct. 2020 Dynamic receiver Laviska Shenault in the veer option? Mark Long,, "Jaguars' Doug Marrone planning bye week shakeup amid losing streak," 27 Oct. 2020 Recent Examples on the Web: Verb Jones’ works are composed of salvaged materials that veer between garage sale treasures and back-alley scavenges. Danielle Avram, Dallas News, "Dallas artist Vince Jones breathes new life into found objects with creative mashups," 7 Apr. 2021 Pair it with dark-wash jeans and dress shoes that veer more on the casual side, like these slip-ons from Target’s in-house line Cat & Jack. Lauren Caruso, CNN Underscored, "12 Easter Sunday outfit ideas for the entire family," 30 Mar. 2021 Last year, in the early months of the pandemic, some of us dared to envision an Academy Awards slate that might veer into uncharted realms of cinematic excellence, treating the absence of Hollywood fare less as a problem than a kind of liberation. Justin Chang,, "Yes, this Oscar season has no blockbuster contenders. Why that’s a good thing," 11 Mar. 2021 Last year, in the early months of the pandemic, some of us dared to envision an Academy Awards slate that might veer into uncharted realms of cinematic excellence, treating the absence of Hollywood fare less as a problem than a kind of liberation. Los Angeles Times, "Yes, this Oscar season has no blockbuster contenders. Why that’s a good thing," 26 Feb. 2021 About 10% to 15% will veer into serious illness, and others will face enduring, sometimes disabling symptoms. Kelly Servick, Science | AAAS, "How do you treat coronavirus? Here are physicians’ best strategies," 16 Mar. 2021 As such, Rancho Cacachilas’ amenities also veer not to spa sessions (of which there are none) but rather to top-tier bike rentals, something of a rarity. Jason H. Harper, Robb Report, "This Mountain-Biking Mecca in Mexico Offers an Isolated Escape Into Nature," 14 Mar. 2021 Wilson’s quests veer off on wild narrative tangents. John Semley, The New Republic, "Painting With John Perfects the Art of Instruction," 5 Feb. 2021 In these works, thought tends to veer and swerve erratically, syntax is warped and logic suspended, and vocabularies and tones are mixed and recombined with wild abandon. Troy Jollimore, Washington Post, "‘The Selected Letters of John Berryman’ is an intimate portrait of the celebrated, tortured poet," 22 Oct. 2020

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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Time Traveler for veer

Time Traveler

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

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Statistics for veer

Last Updated

12 Apr 2021

Cite this Entry

“Veer.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 14 Apr. 2021.

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More Definitions for veer


\ ˈvir How to pronounce veer (audio) \
veered; veering

Kids Definition of veer

: to change direction

More from Merriam-Webster on veer

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for veer

Nglish: Translation of veer for Spanish Speakers

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