Definitions

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

  • intransitive v. To turn aside from a course, direction, or purpose; swerve: "a sequence of adventures that veered between tragedy and bleak farce” ( Anthony Haden-Guest). See Synonyms at swerve.
  • intransitive v. To shift clockwise in direction, as from north to northeast. Used of the wind.
  • intransitive v. Nautical To change the course of a ship by turning the stern to the wind while advancing to windward; wear ship.
  • transitive v. To alter the direction of; turn: veered the car sharply to the left.
  • transitive v. Nautical To change the course of (a ship) by turning the stern windward.
  • n. A change in direction; a swerve.
  • transitive v. Nautical To let out or release (a line or an anchor train).

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. A turn or swerve; an instance of veering.
  • v. To change direction or course suddenly; to swerve
  • v. to change direction into the wind; to wear ship
  • v. to turn

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • intransitive v. To change direction; to turn; to shift.
  • transitive v. To direct to a different course; to turn; to wear.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • To turn; specifically, to alter the course of a ship, by turning her head round away from the wind; wear.
  • To shift or change direction: as, the wind veers to the north; specifically, in meteorology, with respect to the wind, to shift in the same direction as the course of the sun—as, in the northern hemisphere, from east by way of south to west.
  • To turn round; vary; be otherwise minded: said of persons, feelings, intentions, etc. See also veering.
  • To turn; shift.
  • Nautical, to change the course of by turning the stern to windward; lay on a different tack by turning the vessel's head away from the wind; wear: as, to veer ship.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • v. shift to a clockwise direction
  • v. turn sharply; change direction abruptly

Etymologies

French virer, from Old French.
Middle English veren, from Middle Dutch vieren; see per1 in Indo-European roots.
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
From the French virer. (Wiktionary)

Examples

  • Sobel, rightly in my view, brings us back to the scientific truth of Galileo's observations; and whatever the reasoning and motives for Pope Urban VIII's pursuit of him, the fact remains that the ecclesiastical authorities were given all the right information and came up with the wrong answer, and while Sobel doesn't rub it in, she doesn't veer from the central point either.

    August Books 29) Galileo's Daughter: A Drama of Science, Faith and Love, by Dava Sobel

  • The images, which occupy dozens of amorphous panels, veer from the sweetly sentimental — the cartoon bunnies and kittens that fill his wife Whitney Ward's bedtime thoughts — to nightmarish visions grotesque enough to evoke both 1950s EC Comics and 15th-century Hieronymous Bosch.

    The Walking Ghost of Old America

  • But our courts seem to have not gotten the memo -- teachers who dare to veer from the scripted curriculum are at risk of being fired, and they will not find any protection from the law.

    Kevin Welner: Teachers: Gagged but Accountable?

  • A veer in the wind induced them to slack off sheets, and five minutes afterward a sudden veer from the opposite quarter caught all three schooners aback, and those on shore could see the boom-tackles being slacked away or cast off on the jump.

    THE HOUSE OF MAPUHI

  • But the subscription model will begin to show its age as development and service costs increase, and as audiences veer from the significant time and financial obligations these games command.

    Stop Looking for a WoW Killer

  • The proceedings veer from the comically absurd to the fervently passionate as a host of unusual witnesses (Jeff Daniels, Mary Louise Parker, Treat Williams, Alessandro Nivola) pit generation against generation and art against fear in front of conservative Judge Clayton Horn (Bob Balaban).

    4 Movie Clips from HOWL – Premieres at Sundance and Stars James Franco, Jon Hamm, and David Strathairn – Collider.com

  • There are many people that veer from the straight and narrow that are capable of rehabilitation and every effort should be provided to assist them in acheiving this.

    Another Form Of Relief « POLICE INSPECTOR BLOG

  • But as I veer from the 'tomboy/jeans/trainers/tshirt' to 'fairly feminine without being too girly' in my everyday life, I'm not always sure how to present myself in some science contexts.

    Space Camp Barbie

  • But why, if I'm a gamer who typically seeks out innovative titles that veer from the beaten path, did I allow myself to be influenced by the words of a few reviewers?

    This Headline Will Not Pun On 'Faith'

  • "We had to stay with it, we didn't veer from the game plan at all and we got better and better as the game went on."

    NHL - National Hockey League - Montreal vs. Philadelphia

Comments

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  • Toward the most pallid rim of cloudy noonday steering
    Steadily, while the fluent glooms and grave
    Lap us and lift, repulse, and pause—the wild and veering
    Will of the loving and reluctant wave.

    - John Hall Wheelock, 'Storm and Sun'.

    September 22, 2009

  • 1582 N. LICHEFIELD tr. Castanheda's Conq. E. Ind. 73 And after that the winde verred sic to the Southwest they bare with the same.

    July 29, 2008

  • Citation on towpath.

    June 22, 2008