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See more synonyms for veer on Thesaurus.com
verb (used without object)
  1. to change direction or turn about or aside; shift, turn, or change from one course, position, inclination, etc., to another: The speaker kept veering from his main topic. The car veered off the road.
  2. (of the wind)
    1. to change direction clockwise (opposed to back1def 30).
    2. Nautical.to shift to a direction more nearly astern (opposed to hauldef 8c).
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verb (used with object)
  1. to alter the direction or course of; turn.
  2. Nautical. to turn (a vessel) away from the wind; wear.
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  1. a change of direction, position, course, etc.: a sudden veer in a different direction.
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Origin of veer1

First recorded in 1575–85, veer is from the Middle French word virer to turn
Related formsveer·ing·ly, adverb


See more synonyms for veer on Thesaurus.com
1. deviate, swerve, diverge.


verb (used with object) Nautical.
  1. to slacken or let out: to veer chain.
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Origin of veer2

1425–75; late Middle English vere < Middle Dutch vieren to let out
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Examples from the Web for veered

Contemporary Examples

Historical Examples

  • At the risk of overturning the machine he veered it sharply to the left.

  • At a sign from the captain, the head of the boat was veered round.

  • The Jongvrow veered, showed them her rudder, and opened fire with her stern chasers.

    Captain Blood

    Rafael Sabatini

  • He veered out to the edge of the road so as to avoid any more queries.

    The Harbor of Doubt

    Frank Williams

  • His fears, for lack of any other definite object, often veered toward her memories.


    Stephen French Whitman

British Dictionary definitions for veered


  1. to alter direction (of); swing around
  2. (intr) to change from one position, opinion, etc, to another
  3. (intr)
    1. (of the wind) to change direction clockwise in the northern hemisphere and anticlockwise in the southern
    2. nauticalto blow from a direction nearer the sternCompare haul (def. 5)
  4. nautical to steer (a vessel) off the wind
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  1. a change of course or direction
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Word Origin

C16: from Old French virer, probably of Celtic origin; compare Welsh gwyro to diverge


  1. (tr; often foll by out or away) nautical to slacken or pay out (cable or chain)
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Word Origin

C16: from Dutch vieren, from Old High German fieren to give direction
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

Word Origin and History for veered



1580s, "to change direction" (originally with reference to the wind), from Middle French virer "to turn," of uncertain origin, perhaps from the Latin stem vir- in viriae (plural) "bracelets;" or perhaps from a Vulgar Latin contraction of Latin vibrare "to shake." Related: veered, veering.

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper