|1.||one of the main longitudinal structural members of a vessel to which the frames are fastened and that may extend into the water to provide lateral stability|
|2.||on an even keel well-balanced; steady|
|3.||any structure corresponding to or resembling the keel of a ship, such as the central member along the bottom of an aircraft fuselage|
|4.||biology a ridgelike part; carina|
|5.||a poetic word for ship|
|[C14: from Old Norse kjölr; related to Middle Dutch kiel,|
on an even keel
Stable, balanced, as in She had the knack of keeping us on an even keel in any emergency. This term, used figuratively since the mid-1800s, alludes to keeping a vessel's keel in a level position, assuring smooth sailing.