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[sturn-wey] /ˈstɜrnˌweɪ/
Nautical. the movement of a vessel backward, or stern foremost.
Origin of sternway
First recorded in 1760-70; stern2 + way1 Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018.
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Examples from the Web for sternway
Historical Examples
  • The brig may get a lot of sternway on her should this squall not strike her fairly.

    The Rescue Joseph Conrad
  • This gives her sternway, and the after sails and helm keep her to the wind.

    The Seaman's Friend Richard Henry Dana
  • Belay all that—down with the helm, now don't you see she has sternway yet?

    Tom Cringle's Log Michael Scott
  • The helm, being put down to bring her up, will now pay her off, as she has sternway on.

    The Seaman's Friend Richard Henry Dana
  • Therefore, when sternway is on a vessel, put the helm in the same direction in which the head is to be turned.

    The Seaman's Friend Richard Henry Dana
  • The chief asks for the engines to be stopped; sternway is putting purchase on the binding pressure of the rudder.

    Merchantmen-at-Arms David W. Bone
  • In order to enable the vessel to turn speedily, she is fitted with the sternway rudder of Messrs. Thomson & Biles.

  • The mass of iron fell half in-board upon the now stayed boat, and gave her sternway, with a splintered plank.

British Dictionary definitions for sternway


(nautical) movement of a vessel sternforemost
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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