Definition for STEER'AGE


  1. The act or practice of directing and governing in a course; as, the steerage of a ship. – Addison. [In this sense I believe the word is now little used.]
  2. In seamen's language, the effort of a helm, or its effect on the ship; or, the peculiar manner in which an individual ship is affected by the helm. – Mar. Dict.
  3. In a ship, an apartment forward of the great cabin, from which it is separated by a bulk-head or partition, or a apartment in the fore part of a ship for passengers. In ships of war it serves as a hall or antechamber to the great cabin. – Mar. Dict.
  4. The part of a ship where the tiller traverses. – Encyc.
  5. Direction; regulation. He that hath the sleerage of my course. [Little used.] – Shak.
  6. Regulation or management. You raise the honor of the peerage, / Proud to attend you at the steerage. – Swift.
  7. That by which a course is directed. Here he hung on high, / The steerage of his wings. – Dryden. [Steerage, in the general sense of direction or management, is in popular use, but by no means an elegant word. It is said, a young man when he sets out in life, makes bad steerage; but no good writer would introduce the word into elegant writing.]

Return to page 258 of the letter “S”.