Student Dictionary

2 entries found for starboard.
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Main Entry: 1star·board
Pronunciation: primarystressstär-bschward
Function: noun
Etymology: Old English stemacronorbord "starboard, side of a ship from which it is steered," from stemacronor "steering oar" and bord "the side of a ship"
: the right side of a ship or aircraft looking forward
Word History The word starboard has nothing whatever to do with stars. The star- part of the word used to be spelled stemacronor- in Old English and referred to the steering oar or rudder of a ship. In those days the rudder was located on the side of the ship to the right of a person facing toward the bow. Nowadays, of course, the rudder is at the stern. The -board part of the word refers not to a plank but to a whole side of a ship. This meaning survives today in the verb to board a ship or airplane. The side opposite the starboard is usually called the port. The name probably comes from the fact that this side faced the port or dock when the ship was steered into a harbor. The port side is sometimes also called the larboard. The lar- part of this word was spelled lade- in Old English. It probably came from the verb laden, meaning "to load." So the larboard was the side from which the cargo was loaded and unloaded.

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