steerage

noun

steer·​age ˈstir-ij How to pronounce steerage (audio)
1
: the act or practice of steering
broadly : direction
2
[from its originally being located near the rudder] : a section of inferior accommodations in a passenger ship for passengers paying the lowest fares

Example Sentences

Recent Examples on the Web The biggest change with this generation is the arrival of three rows for the long-wheelbase version, and its adult-size rearmost seat has enough amenities to avoid feeling like steerage. Joe Lorio, Car and Driver, 11 Nov. 2022 On the roughly 270-foot-long ship, 10 passengers sailed in first class while 60 sailed in third class, also known as steerage, and there were also crew on board. Nathan Diller, USA TODAY, 2 Nov. 2022 Hamilton’s now in congressional steerage with a statue of Sen. Jacob Collamer of Vermont. Chad Pergram, Fox News, 5 Oct. 2022 Vartanian-Mikaelian's great-grandfather David was in the ocean liner's steerage level with other passengers when the Titanic struck an iceberg on April 15, 1912 — his 22nd birthday. Jim Higgins, Journal Sentinel, 19 Sep. 2022 Most comrades sprawl shoeless, many dozing open-mouthed in the permanent state of steerage that is Soviet air travel. New York Times, 11 July 2022 Alfred Stieglitz and Jacob Riis composed subjects with a spare, Modernist look in mind, but immigrants in steerage or children in factories were the stuff of real life. Brian T. Allen, National Review, 12 Feb. 2022 With $3 in his pocket, Sidney traveled steerage on a mail-cargo ship. Hillel Italie, The Christian Science Monitor, 7 Jan. 2022 With $3 in his pocket, Sidney traveled steerage on a mail-cargo ship. Hillel Italie, ajc, 7 Jan. 2022 See More

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'steerage.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

Word History

First Known Use

15th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Time Traveler
The first known use of steerage was in the 15th century

Dictionary Entries Near steerage

Cite this Entry

“Steerage.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/steerage. Accessed 2 Feb. 2023.

Kids Definition

steerage

noun
steer·​age ˈsti(ə)r-ij How to pronounce steerage (audio)
1
: the act or practice of steering
2
: a section in a passenger ship for passengers paying the lowest fares

More from Merriam-Webster on steerage

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