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The movement of a ship when it is going backwards in relation to the ground. In its most usual form the term is used to mean motion backwards through the water, either by the use of engines running astern or, in the case of a sailing vessel, by laying a sail aback. But a ship lying stopped in the water and carried backwards by an adverse tide is also said to be carrying sternway even though it may not be making any movement through the water.

Subjects: Maritime History.

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