Definition of steerage in English:



  • 1historical The part of a ship providing accommodations for passengers with the cheapest tickets.

    ‘poor emigrants in steerage’
    • ‘Writing of the conditions in steerage, one cabin passenger commented ‘poor creatures, it is a horrible place between decks, so many people in so small a space, I wonder how they live.’’
    • ‘Letters and travel diaries indicate that dancing was an activity enjoyed by both steerage and cabin passengers, illustrating dance's potential as a site for exchange between these groups.’
    • ‘Dickens is especially convincing about the wretched conditions experienced by emigrants who travelled in steerage.’
    • ‘In Titanic, virtually every Englishman was insufferable, while happy Irish fiddlers and dancers created a wonderful atmosphere in steerage.’
    • ‘By virtue of clothing alone, it was not at all difficult to tell which passengers were steerage, and which were first-class.’
  • 2literary, archaic The action of steering a boat.