from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition
- adj. Nautical Closest to the stern.
from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License
- adj. Closest to the stern, furthest sternward.
from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English
- adj. Farthest in the rear; farthest astern.
from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia
- Furthest in the rear; furthest astern: as, the sternmost ship in a convoy.
Sorry, no etymologies found.
It was almost dark when we came up with the sternmost chase, which we hailed, and inquired who they were.
The pirates were closer, little more than a kay away, and the sternmost of the two had shifted course slightly, to take a heading that would come up alongside the Seastag on the port side.
We then discovered the sternmost ship wearing also; wore ship immediately after her, and gave her a stern rake, she luffing to on our starboard bow and giving us her larboard broadside.
At five minutes past six, ranged up on the starboard side of the sternmost ship, about 300 yards distant, and commenced the action by broadsides, both ships returning our fire with the greatest spirit for about fifteen minutes, then the fire of the enemy beginning to slacken, and the great column of smoke collected under our lee, induced (p. 248) us to cease our fire to ascertain their positions and conditions.
At 4.15 P.M. the _Stag_ brought the sternmost ship to close action, which continued with much spirit for about half an hour, when the enemy struck, and proved to be the _Alliance_,
The tide, too, which had hitherto favoured us, now turned against us and drove us to the eastward with prodigious rapidity, so that we were in great anxiety for the Wager and the Anna pink, the two sternmost vessels, fearing they would be dashed to pieces against the shore of Staten Land.
For before the sternmost ships of the squadron were clear of the Straits, the serenity of the sky was suddenly changed, and gave us all the presages of an impending storm; and immediately the wind shifted to the southward, and blew in such violent squalls that we were obliged to hand our topsails and reef our mainsail.
Our anchor was weighed immediately, and we steered towards their sternmost vessel, in order to communicate with her, and to show her a letter with which we had been kindly provided by Sir Thomas Stamford Raffles, written in the Malay language, and explanatory of our occupation.
In tacking we fetched within gunshot of the sternmost of them, and for half an hour or so we kept up a brisk bombardment; but our line was still much out of order, and some of our ships being even now three miles astern, nothing more could be done.
And near by us stood my old ship the Falmouth, which in the darkness had assisted us very much in crippling this great vessel of seventy guns, the sternmost of the French squadron.