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 Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for steerageway

Historical Examples of steerageway

  • 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

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