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See also: Rudder




From Middle English rodder, rother, ruder, from Old English rōþor(oar, rudder), from Proto-Germanic *rōþrą(oar, rudder) (compare Dutch and West Frisian roer, German Ruder), from Proto-Germanic *rōaną, from Proto-Indo-European *h₁reh₁-(to row) + Proto-Germanic *-þrą, *-þraz, instrumental suffix. Akin to Old English rōwan(to row). More at rōwan, -þor.


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rudder (plural rudders)

  1. (nautical) An underwater vane used to steer a vessel. The rudder is controlled by means of a wheel, tiller or other apparatus (modern vessels can be controlled even with a joystick or an autopilot).
  2. (aeronautics) A control surface on the vertical stabilizer of a fixed-wing aircraft or an autogyro. On some craft, the entire vertical stabilizer comprises the rudder. The rudder is controlled by foot-operated control pedals.
  3. A riddle or sieve.
  4. (figuratively) That which resembles a rudder as a guide or governor; that which guides or governs the course.
    • Hudibras
      For rhyme the rudder is of verses.

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