from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 5th Edition.

  • noun The minimum rate of motion required for a ship or boat to be maneuvered by the helm.

from The Century Dictionary.

  • noun Nautical, that degree of forward movement or headway of a ship which renders her subject to the helm.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English.

  • noun (Naut.) A rate of motion through the water sufficient to render a vessel governable by the helm.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License.

  • noun nautical The minimum speed of a ship, below which it does not answer the helm and cannot be steered.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • noun (nautical) the minimum rate of motion needed for a vessel to be maneuvered


Sorry, no etymologies found.


  • Dorwan turned toward the end of the pier, watching as the vessel approached with bare steerageway.


  • The Seastag moved slowly northward, then hove to off the southern breakwater, waiting, the paddle wheels turning just enough to keep the ship with bare steerageway.

    Wellspring of Chaos

  • Although the paddle wheels were beginning to pick up a slow and even rhythm, even Kharl could tell that the ship was losing headway and might soon even lose steerageway.

    Wellspring of Chaos

  • “Maintain bare steerageway to keep us in this area,” Tombstone said.

    Joint Operations

  • “Maintain station with bare steerageway, aye, sir,” the Coast Guard Officer repeated.

    Joint Operations

  • The Kilo was moving at steerageway just barely below the surface of the ocean, her antenna poking up above the surface for a scheduled communications break with the team ashore.

    Arctic Fire

  • The Kilo submarine lingered ten miles away from the island, barely making steerageway through the silent ocean.

    Arctic Fire

  • TheS-570 was making just enough turns for steerageway.

    Pressure Point

  • TheS-570 was making just enough turns for steerageway.

    Pressure Point

  • They cut their electric motors back, slowed to steerageway, and that's why they disappeared off the scopes.

    Red Storm Rising


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