- in a position behind a specified vessel or aircraft: The cutter was following close astern.
- in a backward direction: The steamer went astern at half speed.
Origin of astern
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018
Examples from the Web for astern
At the end of that mile Jonadab's craft's jib boom was just astern of Tobias's rudder.The Depot Master
Joseph C. Lincoln
Came a succession of blows, not only on the port in the bow, but also on that astern.The Historical Nights' Entertainment
By this time the wind was a gale, and he knew it was driving him astern, despite his rowing.The Harbor of Doubt
The open lake was astern of her, with clear sailing for two miles.Breaking Away
In paddling the dugout the Indians all faced ahead, instead of astern as in rowing.Field and Forest
- at or towards the stern
- with the stern firstfull speed astern!
- aft of the stern of a vessel
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
Word Origin and History for astern
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper