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

Troopers are investigating what caused a car to veer off Lake Griffin Road Tuesday night, killing the driver and injuring the passenger. Gal Tziperman Lotan,, "Driver killed, passenger injured in Lake County crash," 23 May 2018 Authorities said veered off a curve and slammed into a Texas Department of Transportation pole. Shelby Webb, Houston Chronicle, "Woman killed after slamming into pole on Grand Parkway feeder road," 19 May 2018 Ever since northern neighbors Wisconsin and Minnesota veered off in opposite directions politically, a rhetorical border war has been fanned over the competing parties and policies that have guided them. Craig Gilbert, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "Minnesota outpaces Wisconsin, report says, in latest volley over liberal vs. conservative policies," 8 May 2018 If the spacecraft veers off course too much, the moon's gravity will pull it back in line. Amy Thompson,, "What's Next for NASA's TESS Exoplanet Hunter?," 19 Apr. 2018 The victims plunged to their deaths when their 2003 GMC veered off Route 1 north of Mendocino and fell 100 feet, eventually landing on its roof on a large rock at the shoreline. Shane Dixon Kavanaugh,, "3 children missing after California cliff plunge kills 2 Northwest women, 3 kids," 28 Mar. 2018 The Girdwood musher, who won a string of mid-distance races this season, veered off course during a snowstorm while en route to Koyuk. Beth Bragg, Anchorage Daily News, "A champion arrives: Joar Leifseth Ulsom of Norway wins the 2018 Iditarod," 14 Mar. 2018 His daily wardrobe never veers far from a T-shirt over a long-sleeve thermal. Jessica Radloff, Glamour, "The Big Bang Theory," 25 Oct. 2018 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

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

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 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

Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

Justin Bieber, Harry Styles, and Kanye West have all worn heeled Jodhpurs recently, while Shawn Mendes and Timothée Chalamet have repeatedly veered towards classic black ankle styles. Christian Allaire, Vogue, "Men In Heels? I Put the Tricky Trend to the Test," 26 Feb. 2019 This is where the mystery veers from criminal investigation to international intrigue. David D. Kirkpatrick, The Seattle Times, "Jamal Khashoggi’s disappearance: What we know and don’t know," 15 Oct. 2018 Here’s where Three Identical Strangers veers from a tale of lovely serendipity to one of a deliberate, unethical tampering with people’s lives., "The Extremely Dark Side To The Buzzy Documentary Three Identical Strangers," 28 June 2018 But some visitors can't resist veering from defined trails into the tall grasses on the muddy coastal land. Devin Kelly, Anchorage Daily News, "Worries about wildlife prompt push for dog ban in South Anchorage estuary," 27 May 2018 Former Secretary of State Rex Tillerson seemed to troll his former boss in a speech at VMI, warning of the dangers of those who veer from facts. Chris Cillizza, CNN, "The harrowing, wild and totally unpredictable last 24 hours in the world of Donald Trump," 17 May 2018 Just as 2001 juxtaposes a distant past and future, the pieces Kubrick chose veered from knowingly traditional to harshly modernistic -- and their use led to resurgences in popularity of many of them. Billboard, "'2001: A Space Odyssey' 50th Anniversary: 5 Highlights from Original Soundtrack," 3 Apr. 2018 Hartig’s sensibility is always slightly punk, and his collection veered from delightfully chic flapper-era gowns with chinoiserie embroidery to army jackets emblazoned with the image of Cher, yes, Cher. Booth Moore, The Hollywood Reporter, "When the Runway Is a Party," 14 Feb. 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

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 Mar 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

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