General English


  • noun a castrated male bovine over one year old.



  • verb to deflect the ball off the face of the bat so that it travels close to or along the ground, usually into the area behind square; the word suggests careful placing and minimal use of force
    Citation ‘From the opening ball of the match from McCague, a long, wide half-volley that Slater steered to the third man boundary, the Australians were able to defend their wickets secure in the knowledge that at least one hittable ball would come their way every over’ (Mike Selvey, Guardian 23 July 1993)


  • A castrated male of the bovine species, 2 to 4 years old

Origin & History of “steer”

Steer ‘control direction’ (OE) and steer ‘young ox’ (OE) are quite unrelated. The latter comes from a prehistoric Germanic *(s)teuraz, which also produced German and Dutch stier, Swedish tjur, and Danish tyr ‘bull’. It was descended from a base denoting ‘strength’ or ‘sturdiness’ (source also of Sanskrit somethingūra- ‘strong, thick’), and may be related to Latin taurus ‘bull’. Steer ‘control direction’ comes from a prehistoric Germanic *steurjan, source also of German steuern, Dutch stieren, Swedish styra, and Danish styre. this in turn was derived from the noun *steurō ‘steering’, which also lies behind English stern and the first syllable of starboard.