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[steer-ij-wey] /ˈstɪər ɪdʒˌweɪ/
noun, Nautical.
sufficient speed to permit a vessel to be maneuvered.
Origin of steerageway
First recorded in 1710-20; steerage + way1 Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018.
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Examples from the Web for steerageway
Historical Examples
  • She had no steerageway on her; and you might as well keep out of the storm.

  • Thus it lost headway sufficiently so that the seas caused it to drift back, without its coming about or losing all steerageway.

    The Rival Campers Afloat Ruel Perley Smith
  • As the other approached, Harry shut off the power of the engines, checking them to little more than steerageway.

    Boy Scouts in the North Sea

    G. Harvey Ralphson
  • He held her nose up to the open sea, allowing her only steerageway, the gale slithering off her flattened sail.

  • I rigged up a sail out of the oar and the canvas spray shield, but there wa'n't wind enough to give us steerageway.

    The Depot Master Joseph C. Lincoln
  • There was not more than a capful of wind; but once let the canvas fill, and the schooner would get steerageway.

    Sheila of Big Wreck Cove James A. Cooper
British Dictionary definitions for steerageway


(nautical) enough forward movement to allow a vessel to be steered
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
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