Definition of on an even keel in US English:

on an even keel


  • 1(of a ship or aircraft) having the same draft forward and aft.

    • ‘The ship went down on an even keel about 3 miles north of Corsewall Point.’
    • ‘The wreck is in a similar state to the Gun Wreck, on an even keel with the hull cut down just above the level of the sand, though the engine is broken to port and resting on top of the donkey boiler.’
    • ‘You know when you throw mud at a wall some of it is going to stick, so it's up to me to try to get the ship back on an even keel.’
    • ‘The outboard motor growled to life and our outrigger kept us on an even keel while sea-birds sat on sharp, spume-glistening rocks, watching our heaving progress with mild interest.’
    • ‘Up and up went the ship, vanishing into the darkness, but on an even keel.’
    • ‘The wreck sits on an even keel and can be explored inside the hold and the engine room.’
    • ‘The wreck lies on an even keel, but is mostly broken down to the seabed.’
    • ‘The wreck sits on an even keel and looks ready to blow her tanks, lift her skirts and go on her way - very like USS Bowfin, which I had visited safe at her mooring in Pearl Harbour on my way to Bikini.’
    • ‘Made with the same care and materials, the Schooner's centerboard keeps it on an even keel in breezier waters.’
    • ‘The ship is lying on an even keel and swimming from the stern will take the diver under the lifeboat davits, past the galley and engine room doors and up the ladders to the chart room.’
    1. 1.1 (of a person or situation) functioning normally after a period of difficulty.
      ‘getting her life back on to an even keel after their breakup had been difficult’
      • ‘I don't think he was searching for truth, but rather for a religion to provide a mechanism that would keep him on an even keel.’
      • ‘Hendry returned for last week's scoreless draw with Bristol City, which extended Pool's unbeaten league run since his arrival to eight games, getting things back on an even keel after a run of six games in which they had not registered a win.’
      • ‘I think they were good poems and that helped me get on an even keel about it.’
      • ‘So I told her I would help her, and then, if after all that, and after enough time had passed for her to be on an even keel again, we both wanted something more, we'd look at it then.’
      • ‘We all know what happened last month but I believe we're back on an even keel.’
      • ‘We have been engaging constructively with Lord Carter and hope he will come up with sensible proposals to get the system back on an even keel.’
      • ‘And by eliminating uncertainty from the lives of children who find changes of routine and the unexpected unsettling and frightening, the system also helps to keep the children's emotions on an even keel.’
      • ‘It's been a difficult pregnancy fraught with scary complications but everything is back on an even keel and it's safe to start blogging again without fear of placing a hex on things.’
      • ‘For the first two years it was in deficit but in the third it was on an even keel.’
      • ‘It was costing the club silly money, but I eventually got things back on an even keel.’