• synonyms


[sturn-hwee-ler, -wee-]
  1. a boat propelled by a paddle wheel at the stern.
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Origin of sternwheeler

An Americanism dating back to 1850–55; sternwheel + -er1
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Examples from the Web for stern-wheeler

Historical Examples

  • The engine-room crew of a Mississippi steamer varies as the boat is a side-wheeler or a stern-wheeler.

    Old Times on the Upper Mississippi

    George Byron Merrick

  • The stern-wheeler has two engines, but they are both coupled to the same shaft, by a crank at each end.

  • Up this crooked stream it was the problem to force the largest boat that had ever navigated it, and a stern-wheeler at that.

  • And if the outfit was gotten out of a wrecked Mississippi stern-wheeler, what boots it!

  • So there the matter rested when Robert Ingersoll was waiting for the stern-wheeler to reload.

British Dictionary definitions for stern-wheeler


  1. a vessel, esp a riverboat, propelled by a large paddle wheel at the sternCompare sidewheeler
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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