[ steer ]
See synonyms for: steersteeredsteering on

verb (used with object)
  1. to guide the course of (something in motion) by a rudder, helm, wheel, etc.: to steer a bicycle.

  2. to follow or pursue (a particular course).

  1. to direct the course of; guide: I can steer you to the best restaurant in town.

verb (used without object)
  1. to direct the course of a vessel, vehicle, airplane, or the like, by the use of a rudder or other means.

  2. to pursue a course of action.

  1. (of a vessel, vehicle, airplane, etc.) to be steered or guided in a particular direction or manner.

  1. Informal. a suggestion about a course of action; tip: He got a good steer about finding the right job.

Idioms about steer

  1. steer clear of, to stay away from purposely; avoid: She steered clear of any deep emotional involvements.

Origin of steer

First recorded before 900; Middle English steren, stere, stieren, Old English stēoran, stēran, stíoran, stýran, akin to stēor, stýr “steering, guidance”; cognate with German steuern, Old Norse stȳra, Gothic stiurjan

Other words from steer

  • steer·a·ble, adjective
  • steer·a·bil·i·ty, noun
  • un·steer·a·ble, adjective

Other definitions for steer (2 of 3)

[ steer ]

noun,plural steers, (especially collectively) steer.
  1. a male bovine that is castrated before sexual maturity, especially one raised for beef.

Origin of steer

First recorded before 900; Middle English ster(e), Old English stēor “young bull or ox,” cognate with Dutch, German Stier, Old Norse stjōrr, Gothic stiur

Other definitions for steer (3 of 3)

[ steer ]

verb (used with or without object), nounBritish Dialect. Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2023

How to use steer in a sentence

British Dictionary definitions for steer (1 of 2)


/ (stɪə) /

  1. to direct the course of (a vehicle or vessel) with a steering wheel, rudder, etc

  2. (tr) to guide with tuition: his teachers steered him through his exams

  1. (tr) to direct the movements or course of (a person, conversation, etc)

  2. to pursue (a specified course)

  3. (intr) (of a vessel, vehicle, etc) to admit of being guided in a specified fashion: this boat does not steer properly

  4. steer clear of to keep away from; shun

  1. mainly US information; guidance (esp in the phrase a bum steer)

Origin of steer

Old English stieran; related to Old Frisian stiūra, Old Norse stӯra, German stevern; see starboard, stern ²

Derived forms of steer

  • steerable, adjective
  • steerer, noun

British Dictionary definitions for steer (2 of 2)


/ (stɪə) /

  1. a castrated male ox or bull; bullock

Origin of steer

Old English stēor; related to Old Norse stjōrr, Gothic stiur, Old High German stior, Middle Dutch stēr

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

Other Idioms and Phrases with steer


In addition to the idiom beginning with steer

  • steer clear of

also see:

  • bum steer

The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company.