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rudder

[ruhd-er]
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noun
  1. Nautical. a vertical blade at the stern of a vessel that can be turned horizontally to change the vessel's direction when in motion.
  2. Aeronautics. a movable control surface attached to a vertical stabilizer, located at the rear of an airplane and used, along with the ailerons, to turn the airplane.
  3. any means of or device for governing, directing, or guiding a course, as a leader or principle: His ideas provided a rudder for the new company.

Origin of rudder

before 900; Middle English rodder, rother, ruder, Old English rōther; cognate with Old Frisian rōther, Middle Dutch rōder (Dutch roer), Old High German ruodar (German Ruder); akin to row2
Related formsrud·dered, adjectiverud·der·less, adjectiverud·der·like, adjectiveun·rud·dered, adjective
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Examples from the Web for rudder

Contemporary Examples

Historical Examples

  • The rudder may also be curved or warped in similar manner by lever action.

    Flying Machines

    W.J. Jackman and Thos. H. Russell

  • To ensure rigidity the rudder must be stayed with guy wires.

    Flying Machines

    W.J. Jackman and Thos. H. Russell

  • Gliders as a rule have only one rudder, and this is in the rear.

    Flying Machines

    W.J. Jackman and Thos. H. Russell

  • The ship's rudder got loose, and was secured with difficulty.

    Ned Myers

    James Fenimore Cooper

  • I used the paddle as a rudder, and to push floating timber away.


British Dictionary definitions for rudder

rudder

noun
  1. nautical a pivoted vertical vane that projects into the water at the stern of a vessel and can be controlled by a tiller, wheel, or other apparatus to steer the vessel
  2. a vertical control surface attached to the rear of the fin used to steer an aircraft, in conjunction with the ailerons
  3. anything that guides or directs
Derived Formsrudderless, adjective

Word Origin

Old English rōther; related to Old French rōther, Old High German ruodar, Old Norse rōthr . See row ²
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 rudder

n.

Old English roðor "paddle, oar," from Proto-Germanic *rothru- (cf. Old Frisian roðer, Middle Low German roder, Middle Dutch roeder, Dutch roer, Old High German ruodar, German Ruder "oar"), from *ro- "steer" (see row (v.)) + suffix -þra, used to form neutral names of tools. Meaning "broad, flat piece of wood attached to the stern of a boat and used for steering" is from c.1300. Spelling with -d- for -th- first recorded mid-15c. (cf. feather, mother, gather).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper