Definition of rudder in English:



  • 1A flat piece, usually of wood, metal, or plastic, hinged vertically near the stern of a boat or ship for steering.

    • ‘The tiny trimtab turns the rudder, and the little rudder turns the giant ship.’
    • ‘Helicopter rescue teams braved strong winds and waves yesterday to save 16 sailors from a ship that lost its rudder and was pitching wildly at sea as a powerful typhoon swept toward China.’
    • ‘The sailboat has a fin keel and a rudder that resemble the dorsal and pectoral fins of orcas.’
    • ‘Volunteer boatbuilder Henry Thuys tests if the new rudder of the Batavia long boat is responding smoothly.’
    • ‘He was unable to row the boat and couldn't steer the vessel having lost his rudder on day one of the voyage.’
    • ‘Later, I heard that one torpedo had hit the rudder and put its steering out of action.’
    • ‘It was no cabin cruiser, but with the rudder salvaged from the Minnow, and a mast and sail added, the boat should be navigable.’
    • ‘The ship has rudders and bowthrusters for harbour manoeuvring.’
    • ‘The vessel was 70 percent complete but was without engines, rudders, or armament.’
    • ‘Stern horizontal rudders levelled off the submarine underwater.’
    • ‘The ship has two controllable pitch propellers and two rudders with rudder roll stabilisation.’
    • ‘The Nubian boat captain piloted the rudder with his foot.’
    • ‘The vessel is fitted with two pairs of active stabilising fins and twin rudders and has bow and stern thrusters.’
    • ‘I slammed the rudder and the boat peeled hard to starboard.’
    • ‘The stricken yacht had significant flooding to her port demi-hull, the port engine was damaged, the starboard rudder was gone and there was damage to the port rudder.’
    • ‘Under the stern, the rudders and propellers keep the hull clear of the bottom.’
    • ‘The ship has two shafts with controllable pitch propellers, two rudders and a pair of active stabilising fins.’
    • ‘Rotating the pod or drive unit provides directional control, eliminating the need for rudders to redirect the flow of water from the prop.’
    • ‘These were clinker-built - that is, with timbers overlapping and not laid flush - with flat bottom, straight stem and stern posts, a stern rudder and a single sail.’
    • ‘It also emerged at the meeting that there were problems with the steering and the rudder.’
    tiller, wheel
    View synonyms
    1. 1.1A vertical airfoil pivoted from the horizontal stabilizer of an aircraft, for controlling movement around the vertical axis.
      • ‘Once the pilot has established the desired bank angle, the rudder and the aileron are neutralized so that the bank remains constant.’
      • ‘An aeroplane requires a set of wings for lift, wing flaps and rear rudder for control and engines for propulsion.’
      • ‘Yaw and pitch were to be controlled through a tail-mounted rudder and elevator connected by cables to the flier's seat and a shoulder yoke.’
      • ‘The only contract resulting from the purchase was for the trifling job of producing directional rudders for the planes.’
      • ‘As we towed a glider, the nylon rope broke and whiplashed into our plane, damaging the rudder.’
      • ‘Another area of intense interest to investigators is the plane's vertical tail, or fin, and its rudder, both of which were found more than half a mile from the impact site, in nearby Jamaica Bay.’
      • ‘Although a helicopter has a main blade, rotating at 500 rpm above it, and a tail rotor that acts as a rudder, it remains a completely unstable machine.’
      • ‘An hour later, by manually working the rudders and flaps, Campbell made a near-perfect landing amid cheers from fellow airmen deployed from Pope.’
      • ‘The tail fin and the rudder attached to it were discovered half a mile from where the fuselage and engines came to rest.’
      • ‘Normal turns may be made with the use of ailerons alone and satisfactory turns may be made with rudders alone, although yaw developed may be unpleasant to passengers.’
      • ‘The Hunter air vehicle is a fixed wing, twin tail boom aircraft with a dual rudder.’
      • ‘Agglomerations of wings and cowling, flaps, rudders and fuselage rise dramatically from narrow steel legs.’
      • ‘I was about to tell the pilot to use the rudders to bring the aircraft to centerline when he said he couldn't keep the aircraft straight.’
      • ‘It was similar to the noise you hear when the aircraft is in a slight sideslip, or the rudder is out of trim.’
      • ‘Spring tabs were added to the elevators and rudders to help control forces during high speed flight.’
      • ‘The vertical rudder jams, and the stern diving planes cannot be controlled.’
      • ‘The tail unit comprises all-moving horizontal tail surfaces and a single-fin vertical tail fitted with a rudder.’
      • ‘The rudders have been replaced along with the trim cables, the skin of the airplane has seen detailed attention and fresh paint, and corroded pieces have been removed and replaced.’
      • ‘Instead of a traditional rudder for yaw control, the upper and lower surfaces are each fitted with two sections of moving surfaces.’
      • ‘Use rudders for heading control and only small jabs of the yoke to correct pitch and bank excursions.’
    2. 1.2Application of a rudder in steering a boat, ship, or aircraft.
      ‘bring the aircraft to a stall and apply full rudder’
      ‘a small amount of extra rudder’
      • ‘It is highly spin-resistant, requiring full rudder to initiate and maintain a spin and recovering in one turn after centralising the flying controls.’
      • ‘The Instrument Landing System worked fine, and the only surprise was how much rudder it required to maintain coordinated flight once it was configured.’
      • ‘This was the only airspeed that provided a predictable and constant level of yaw that I could counter with full rudder.’
      • ‘I must have instinctively closed the throttle, and when I again broke cloud I applied full opposite left rudder.’
      • ‘Nelson used full left rudder and differential thrust to make an arrested landing.’
      • ‘I felt my copilot initially increase right rudder, trying to stop the aircraft's left drift.’
      • ‘As the hook engaged the wire, I countered the right yaw with rudder and kept the right wing off the deck for as long as I could.’
      • ‘It is a challenging aircraft in a crosswind and requires a lot of rudder and nosewheel steering to maintain centerline on the rollout.’
      • ‘The aircraft continued to yaw left, despite both pilots putting in full right rudder.’
      • ‘As power on the good engine came up, yaw would have to be countered with rudder into the good engine.’
      • ‘Applying a little left rudder for lineup at the last second, I watched in amazement as my probe hit brass-to-brass in the center of the basket.’
      • ‘I then applied full right rudder and what lateral-stick movement I could to regain upright level flight.’
      • ‘My first concern was to control the yaw, so I threw a bootful of rudder toward the good engine, while I established a right-hand bank.’
      • ‘The aircraft immediately veered to the left and required right rudder inputs to stay on the runway.’
      • ‘I threw in a boot full of right rudder to stop the nose from falling below the horizon.’
      • ‘Both pilots had to input left rudder to maintain directional control.’
      • ‘Now I did have a blown tire, and as the aircraft slowed through 100 knots, the pull to the right required almost a full boot of left rudder to keep the aircraft on the runway.’
      • ‘Capt Yost continued the approach, skillfully aligning the aircraft with the runway using right rudder and fanning the speed-brakes once the landing was assured.’
      • ‘Suddenly, the aircraft swerved to the right, so I countered with rudder, making the aircraft swerve left centerline.’


Old English rōther paddle, oar; related to Dutch roer, German Ruder, also to the verb row.