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 veeringly (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

Police were called after it was reported that the two veered off course from the landing zone because of weather complications, Graham said. Joe Mario Pedersen,, "Skydivers found, one with injuries, after veering off course over DeLand, authorities say," 20 June 2019 Another Republican, Minority Whip Steve Scalise of Louisiana, warned that Democrats are veering toward socialism. Padmananda Rama, The Seattle Times, "House Democrats cheer wins of 1st 100 days, ponder stumbles," 12 Apr. 2019 So far, the remaining tech stocks have done well, but Mr. Bartolini said investors who don’t rebalance their portfolios are taking a risk that their performance will veer widely from the new benchmark, especially if there’s a big market move. Asjylyn Loder, WSJ, "Investors Aren’t Following Facebook, Google Out of Tech Funds," 8 Oct. 2018 The board unanimously approved Brumley for the Jefferson Parish position at a March 5 meeting after nearly three hours of discussion that at times veered acrimonious. Littice Bacon-blood,, "See how much Jefferson Parish's new schools superintendent will be paid," 12 Mar. 2018 Losos and his students have found that evolution did sometimes veer off in odd directions. Quanta Magazine, "The New Science of Evolutionary Forecasting," 17 July 2014 Again, these cars will veer off the road relatively quickly. Timothy B. Lee, Ars Technica, "People keep spotting Teslas with snoozing drivers on the freeway," 18 June 2019 For some readers, this will veer too far into the realm of utopian fiction. Lidija Haas, Harper's magazine, "New Books," 10 June 2019 Public discussion of these strange signals sometimes veers into the irresponsible. Sarah Scoles, WIRED, "The WIRED Guide to Aliens," 5 June 2019

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

Tony Awards to honor Broadway's best Last year’s Tony Award show saw Robert De Niro veer from his introduction of Bruce Springsteen and drop an F-bomb about President Donald Trump. Editors, USA TODAY, "Democrats in Iowa, Tony Awards, Stanley Cup Final: 5 things to know this weekend," 8 June 2019 But his paranoia is unmoored from the current political climate, which makes the film’s final veer back to Ed’s obsession seem all the more forced and hollow. Mark Jenkins,, "‘The Tomorrow Man’ review: John Lithgow plays a prepper readying for world’s end, yet hoping for romance," 4 June 2019 The result means that some of the Dumped Wife's content is delightfully homemade, while other photography veers towards the type more common to professional social media presences. Bridget Read, Vogue, "Dumped Wife's Revenge Is the Instagram Account You Need in Your Life," 13 Aug. 2018 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

Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

An off-duty Virginia state trooper who witnessed the strike said the lightning bolt’s impact caused the motorcyclist to veer off the road. The Washington Post, The Mercury News, "A motorcyclist was struck by lightning while riding on highway. His helmet couldn’t save him.," 10 June 2019 An off-duty Virginia state trooper who witnessed the strike said the lightning bolt's impact caused the motorcyclist to veer off the road., "Motorcyclist in Florida killed after lightning strike," 10 June 2019 Unlike other international fashion capitals, Aussie fashion seems to veer away from current events. Steff Yotka, Vogue, "Swim, Sunnies, and Sustainability—What’s Up at Sydney’s Annual Resort Fashion Week," 21 May 2019 Of course, as with any habit, there’s a potential to veer into dangerous territory. Gina Way, Marie Claire, "Can Skincare Keep You Sane?," 4 Dec. 2018 Apple brass wanted crucifixes removed from the main couple’s home and didn’t want the storyline to veer into anything religious, The Wall Street Journal reported. Ryan Gaydos, Fox News, "Apple passes on Dr. Dre drama over graphic scenes, report says," 25 Sep. 2018 Police were called after it was reported that the two veered off course from the landing zone because of weather complications, Graham said. Joe Mario Pedersen,, "Skydivers found, one with injuries, after veering off course over DeLand, authorities say," 20 June 2019 The swipe at the far left-leaning members of his party seems to be a play to moderate Democrats and even Republican voters who may be turned off by Republican President Donald Trump’s veer to the right. Lisa Donovan,, "The Spin: Big waves on Lake Michigan and the tides of change at City Hall," 13 June 2019 Some firms are hiring outside companies that specialize in listening in on social media, to report back when conversations veer towards unblinding a trial. Heidi Ledford, Scientific American, "A Question of Control," 16 May 2019

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

5 Jul 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 How to pronounce veer (audio) \
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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