AskDefine | Define steerageway

Dictionary Definition

steerageway n : (nautical) the minimum rate of motion needed for a vessel to be maneuvered

User Contributed Dictionary


Alternative spellings


  • a RP /ˈstɪə.rɪdʒˌweɪ/, /"stI@.rIdZ.wEI/
  • a US /ˈstirɪdʒˌweɪ/


  1. The minimum speed of a ship, below which it does not answer the helm and cannot be steered.


  • 1902 - Jack London, The Cruise of the Dazzler, chapter XII
    The latter made one tremendous spurt, then gave up in despair and hauled in his oars. French Pete let go the main-sheet, lost steerageway as he rounded up alongside the motionless skiff, and dragged Joe out.


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