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[n. uhn-der-steer; v. uhn-der-steer] /n. ˈʌn dərˌstɪər; v. ˌʌn dərˈstɪər/
a handling characteristic of an automotive vehicle that causes it to turn less sharply than the driver intends because the front wheels slide to the outside of the turn before the rear wheels lose traction.
verb (used without object)
(of an automotive vehicle) to undergo understeer, especially excessively.
Compare oversteer.
Origin of understeer
1935-40; under- + steer1 Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the web for understeer
  • Adjusting or changing them can change the stiffness of the suspension in roll and alter understeer and oversteer.
  • The terms understeer and oversteer are defined by relative slip angles.
  • As speed increased, the driver steered the vehicle to maintain the radius as the vehicle tended to understeer.
  • Indeed, if a curve is so sharp as to make a path user uncomfortable, the user may understeer and run off the side of the path.
  • In cornering maneuvers, drivers may tend to oversteer or understeer which can result in loss-of-control crashes.
British Dictionary definitions for understeer


verb (intransitive)
(of a vehicle) to turn less sharply, for a particular movement of the steering wheel, than anticipated
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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