1. A timber that connects the keel and sternpost of a ship.
2. An arm extending to the rear of the keel to support the rudder and protect the propeller.
3. A fin projecting from the bottom of an outboard motor, used to protect the propeller and to provide extra steering control.
4. A centerboard mounted near the stern of a kayak, used to improve directional stability in windy weather.
5. A fin mounted near the tail of a surfboard, used to improve directional stability.
[Dutch scheg, perhaps from Old Norse skegg, beard, beak of a ship.]
The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition copyright ©2020 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.
Indo-European & Semitic Roots Appendices
Thousands of entries in the dictionary include etymologies that trace their origins back to reconstructed proto-languages. You can obtain more information about these forms in our online appendices:
The Indo-European appendix covers nearly half of the Indo-European roots that have left their mark on English words. A more complete treatment of Indo-European roots and the English words derived from them is available in our Dictionary of Indo-European Roots.