- Nautical. a vertical blade at the stern of a vessel that can be turned horizontally to change the vessel's direction when in motion.
- 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.
- 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
Examples from the Web for rudderless
Foer is the kind of adult for whom a pre-Huggies life was rudderless.Fatherhood Gets Hip
December 1, 2009
He felt as he had at his father's death, rudderless, derelict.Still Jim
Honor Willsie Morrow
Without it she was like a rudderless boat on an endless sea, and he knew it.Jennie Gerhardt
He can never get a ship: his career's cut short, he's a rudderless boat.Beauchamp's Career, Complete
He accepts his life as a rudderless ship, drifting on the ocean of time.The Majesty of Calmness
William George Jordan
One is left compassless, rudderless, chartless on a sea of ideas.The Little Lady of the Big House
- 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
- a vertical control surface attached to the rear of the fin used to steer an aircraft, in conjunction with the ailerons
- anything that guides or directs
Word Origin and History for rudderless
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).