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steerage

[steer-ij] /ˈstɪər ɪdʒ/
noun
1.
a part or division of a ship, formerly the part containing the steering apparatus.
2.
(in a passenger ship) the part or accommodations allotted to the passengers who travel at the cheapest rate.
Origin of steerage
late Middle English
1400-1450
1400-50; late Middle English sterage. See steer1, -age
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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British Dictionary definitions for steerage

steerage

/ˈstɪərɪdʒ/
noun
1.
the cheapest accommodation on a passenger ship, originally the compartments containing the steering apparatus
2.
an instance or the practice of steering and the effect of this on a vessel or vehicle
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for steerage
n.

mid-15c., "action of steering," from steer (v.) + -age. Meaning "part of a ship in front of the chief cabin" is from 1610s; originally where the steering apparatus of the ship was, it retained the name after the introduction of the deck wheel in early 18c.; hence meaning "section of a ship with the cheapest accommodations," first recorded 1804.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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9
10
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