The Collaborative International Dictionary
Helm \Helm\, n. [OE. helme, AS. helma rudder; akin to D. & G. helm, Icel. hj[=a]lm, and perh. to E. helve.]
(Naut.) The apparatus by which a ship is steered, comprising rudder, tiller, wheel, etc.; -- commonly used of the tiller or wheel alone.
The place or office of direction or administration. ``The helm of the Commonwealth.''
One at the place of direction or control; a steersman; hence, a guide; a director.
The helms o' the State, who care for you like fathers.
[Cf. Helve.] A helve. [Obs. or Prov. Eng.]
Helm amidships, when the tiller, rudder, and keel are in the same plane.
Helm aport, when the tiller is borne over to the port side of the ship.
Helm astarboard, when the tiller is borne to the starboard side.
Helm alee, Helm aweather, when the tiller is borne over to the lee or to the weather side.
Helm hard alee, Helm hard aport, Helm hard astarboard, etc., when the tiller is borne over to the extreme limit.
Helm port, the round hole in a vessel's counter through which the rudderstock passes.
Helm down, helm alee.
Helm up, helm aweather.
To ease the helm, to let the tiller come more amidships, so as to lessen the strain on the rudder.
To feel the helm, to obey it.
To right the helm, to put it amidships.
To shift the helm, to bear the tiller over to the corresponding position on the opposite side of the vessel.
--Ham. Nav. Encyc.