Definition of starboard in English:

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Pronunciation: /ˈstärbərd/


The side of a ship or aircraft that is on the right when one is facing forward. The opposite of port3.
Example sentences
  • There are a navigation station and a quarter berth aft along the port side, and galley aft on the starboard side.
  • Two starboard lifts carry the aircraft from the hangar to the flight deck.
  • The captain turned the ship to the starboard side, bracing the crew for the rapids and falls ahead.


[with object]
Turn (a ship or its helm) to starboard.
Example sentences
  • The starboarding of the Cambridge in the circumstances of the case was wrong.


Old English stēorbord 'rudder side' (see steer1, board), because early Teutonic sailing vessels were steered with a paddle over the right side.

  • port from Old English:

    Latin portus ‘haven or harbour’ is the source of our word port. Its nautical use to refer to the left side of a ship, the opposite of starboard (OE from ‘steer board’—early ships were steered with a paddle over the right side), dates from the mid 16th century and probably comes from the idea that this was the side of the ship where the loading hatch was fitted and was turned towards the quay when the ship was in port. It replaced an older word larboard, hardly surprising given the potential for confusion between the similar-sounding ‘starboard!’ and ‘larboard!’ when shouted into the teeth of a gale. While the second half of larboard is ‘board’, the origin of the first part is not known. The drink port is a shortened form of Oporto in Portugal, from which the wine was shipped. See also porter

For editors and proofreaders

Syllabification: star·board

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