1 A large space below deck, usually above the propellers, which in some merchant ships was used for crew accommodation and in the ocean liners of the 19th and early 20th centuries was reserved for those passengers who could not afford a private cabin. The sides were lined with wooden bunks, often one or more tiers of them running longitudinally in the space between the sides. In those days passengers were expected to bring their own bedclothes, and also their own food, a large stove being erected on deck at which they could cook it. In the days when sailing ships carried passengers the steerage was that part of the ship next below the quarterdeck and immediately before the bulkhead of the great cabin.
2 In the US Navy it used to be the name for a midshipman's berth.
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