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The opposite to astern, is used in two senses at sea. Referring to direction, it means any distance directly in front of a ship on its current heading; referring to movement, it means the passage of a ship through the water in the direction in which its bows are pointing. It is a word much associated with the orders to work a ship's engines, as the engine room telegraph traditionally has the words ‘ahead’, ‘astern’, and ‘stop’ printed on the dial.

Subjects: Maritime History.

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