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)

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 The story of Hiroo Onoda shows how Herzog’s fascination with dreams can veer into Freudian nonsense—a reluctance to attribute people’s behavior to very obvious real-world causes, preferring instead to dwell on the mazy mysteries of the mind. Ryu Spaeth, The New Republic, 2 June 2022 If a nearby human driver suddenly and without any warning opts to veer into the side or rear of an AI self-driving car, there really isn’t anything the AI driving system can do to avert the car crash that ensues. Lance Eliot, Forbes, 1 June 2022 Nashville artist Charlotte Terrell creates custom murals for her clients that reference traditional scenics but veer more towards abstraction. Hadley Keller, House Beautiful, 25 May 2022 Traditional cowboy boots usually have a taller shaft, while ropers veer on the shorter side. Dale Arden Chong, Men's Health, 18 May 2022 Daniel Biss, a mathematician who appreciates how quantification can veer into absurdity. Joe Pinsker, The Atlantic, 13 May 2022 Having such a theme as the foundation for a show could easily veer corny, if not tasteless. Lauren Puckett-pope, ELLE, 6 May 2022 Fire's aim is true, though its tone tends to veer wildly, ricocheting from cutting AbFab wit to the kind of broad strokes Bridgerton wouldn't shake a powdered wig at. Leah Greenblatt,, 3 June 2022 Maybe the healthiest approach would have been for either to veer at least slightly more toward a middle road. Chris Willman, Variety, 4 Apr. 2022 Recent Examples on the Web: Noun Cross a dirt road and veer left to continue another 0.3 miles on Outer Limits to the Bottom Out junction. Mare Czinar, The Arizona Republic, 31 Mar. 2022 Drawing on the uncanny collective experience of womanhood, Chahine and Falaknaz veer into performance art, becoming the subjects of their own work at times. Rica Cerbarano, Vogue, 15 Mar. 2022 One big difference this season was the Beavers’ understanding of Kirchhoff’s veer offense that’s run out of the shotgun. David Hinojosa, San Antonio Express-News, 14 Dec. 2021 Gary Mills, in the back of Cashe’s Bradley, felt the vehicle veer right just before the blast. Dan Lamothe, Anchorage Daily News, 16 Dec. 2021 A few thousand veer into Blue Creek, whose headwaters lie far up in the Siskiyou Wilderness. Doug Struck, The Christian Science Monitor, 18 Oct. 2021 The Falcons found the end zone on the ensuing drive when Padilla kept the ball on a veer option and bolted through the middle of the Brennan defense for a 13-yard touchdown. Zach Mason, San Antonio Express-News, 20 Nov. 2021 From the trailhead, follow the Bullseye Trail a short distance and veer right onto the Blowout Canyon Trail at the first fork. Mare Czinar, The Arizona Republic, 12 Nov. 2021 The first is the narrative’s occasional veer toward twee, a tonal choice likely intended to counterbalance darker strains in the story. Emily Gray Tedrowe, USA TODAY, 5 Oct. 2021 Recent Examples on the Web: Verb The aides described the then-president’s efforts to persuade Pence to veer from his ceremonial role and object as Congress counted the electoral votes on Jan. 6. Mary Clare Jalonick, Chicago Tribune, 23 June 2022 After all: very expensive leather trash bags veer dangerously close to deeply bad taste. New York Times, 7 Mar. 2022 Adaptations are always a tricky business: strictly imitate the source material and be accused of a lack of creativity; veer too far away from what is perceived as the original’s soul, rhythms, or vibe, and be accused of missing the point. Roxana Hadadi, Vulture, 15 Nov. 2021 Mueller likely won't veer too far from his report or offer a lot of details that aren't already included in that. Chris Morris, Fortune, 24 July 2019 Vanya being a lousy marksman, the play doesn’t veer into tragedy. Charles Mcnultytheater Critic, Los Angeles Times, 7 June 2022 Bicycles and bicyclists veer to the political left. The New Yorker, 23 May 2022 Our only hope to avoid worsening global warming effects—including more extreme floods, droughts, wildfires, and even ecosystem collapse—is to veer away from fossil fuels by the end of this decade. Manasee Wagh, Popular Mechanics, 5 Apr. 2022 Soon after superstorm Sandy struck New York and New Jersey a year ago today, the public became aware that a half-dozen U.S. weather models had incorrectly predicted that the storm coming up the coast would veer northeast out to sea. Mark Fischetti, Scientific American, 29 Oct. 2013 See More

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.

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

Learn More About veer

Time Traveler for veer

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

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Dictionary Entries Near veer



veer away

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Last Updated

23 Jun 2022

Cite this Entry

“Veer.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 6 Jul. 2022.

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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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