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

What about when those veer into people who are on your platform, the developers too? Eric Johnson, Recode, "For some under-represented people in tech, life is getting better. For others, this is the ‘dark timeline.’," 5 Sep. 2018 Shutterstock How playground design has changed Typical playgrounds from the 1980s and 1990s used a prefab system of multilevel platforms, often with slides, jungle gyms, or monkey bars veering off into different directions. Megan Barber, Curbed, "Why cities need accessible playgrounds," 20 July 2018 Rather than sticking on the road and driving right into the enemy’s defenses, the column reconfigures to tracks without stopping, peels off the road, and veers off into the desert. Kyle Mizokami, Popular Mechanics, "DARPA Invents Wheels That Instantly Morph Into Triangular Tank Tracks," 25 June 2018 Danielle Miller, 27, of Litchfield’s Troop L was killed when her cruiser veered into the opposite lane on Wolcott Road and smashed into a Ford truck. Dave Altimari,, "State Trooper Killed In Crash Was Driving Drunk, Police Say," 14 May 2018 But after a week-long media blitz that at times veered into the petty and sensational-- SARA HAINES: You reference Trump's possible self-tanning, the size of his hands. NBC News, "Meet the Press- April 22,2018," 22 Apr. 2018 The driver fled south toward Milwaukee, running several red lights and veering multiple times into the wrong lane, hitting speeds that topped 100 mph. Keegan Kyle, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "Milwaukee's policy to limit chases sparks surge of pursuits in neighboring communities," 3 Apr. 2018 There was the big dust-up about his old political newsletters, which frequently veered into nutty conspiracy theories about the Mossad committing terror attacks on American soil. Jim Geraghty, National Review, "Message to House Democrats: You Can’t Always Get What You Want," 11 Jan. 2018 In many ways, Kennedy kept the high court from veering too far from the ideological center. Mackenzie Long, Teen Vogue, "What Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh Could Mean for Women, Gun Control, and More," 8 Oct. 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

The performances from the older Crain children are wonderfully restrained, lending a sense of gravitas without letting the show veer too far into melodrama. Bryan Bishop, The Verge, "Netflix’s Haunting of Hill House is like This Is Us wrapped in a gothic ghost story," 28 Sep. 2018 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

Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

Dashboard camera footage, however, showed Mr. McDonald veering away from officers with a knife at his side before the shooting. Erin Ailworth, WSJ, "Chicago Officer Sentenced to Nearly 7 Years for Laquan McDonald Death," 18 Jan. 2019 Squad car video shows McDonald was veering away from police, a knife in one hand. Don Babwin, Fox News, "Defense for Chicago police officer puts slain teen on trial," 27 Sep. 2018 The chase began in the predawn hours on Thursday when a sheriff's K9 unit deputy attempted to stop the woman on I-10 near Eloy after the car veered from its lane, officials said. Chris Coppola, azcentral, "Driver suspected of carrying migrants arrested after I-10 pursuit," 29 June 2018 That conversation rarely veered from the topic of MacKenzie’s writing. Kate Storey, Town & Country, "Who Will Get the First MacKenzie Bezos Interview?," 10 Jan. 2019 The Hollywood Reporter's annual Drama Actress Roundtable conversation veers into the subject of pay parity. Lacey Rose, The Hollywood Reporter, ""It's a Revolution": The Hollywood Reporter Drama Actress Roundtable," 23 May 2018 Then, just 10 laps from the finish, Weber veered into the high groove in Turn 4. Tony Baranek, Daily Southtown, "Respect for Randy: Grundy Speedway Hall of Fame call leaves Randy Weese surprised and full of pride," 12 May 2018 The man was traveling without his headlights on when a witness noticed his car veer off the roadway, according to police reports. Hannah Leone, Aurora Beacon-News, "Police video shows witnesses saving man from burning car in Aurora," 4 Apr. 2018 After the camera shutter clicks, the missile veers. Christopher Solomon, Outside Online, "The Boy Who Lived on Edges," 22 Mar. 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


Statistics for veer

Last Updated

15 Feb 2019

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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More from Merriam-Webster on veer

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with veer

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for veer

Spanish Central: Translation of veer

Nglish: Translation of veer for Spanish Speakers

Comments on veer

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