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a- +‎ stern


astern (comparative more astern, superlative most astern)

  1. (nautical) Beyond the stern when viewed from aboard.
    He signalled the engineroom to go astern: in other words, to run the engine in such a way as to put the ship beyond the present position of her stern, as viewed from aboard.
    • 1944, Miles Burton, chapter 5, The Three Corpse Trick:
      The dinghy was trailing astern at the end of its painter, and Merrion looked at it as he passed. He saw that it was a battered-looking affair of the prahm type, with a blunt snout, and like the parent ship, had recently been painted a vivid green.

Derived terms[edit]




astern (not comparable)

  1. (nautical) behind
    • If one ship is following another, the first is astern when viewed from the second.

Usage notes[edit]

  • Within the ship, the corresponding adjective is abaft. An object nearer the stern than the mainmast is abaft the mainmast.