In defining steer, I would steer clear of complicated examples and just say: to steer is to control which direction one is going.

Everyone who owns a car has learned to point his car in the right direction using the steering wheel. It's a bad idea to let your five year-old steer; you might end up in a sandbox. But the use of steer doesn't need to be limited to wheels and handle bars. If you have a friend torn between whether or not to go to college, you can help steer her towards the right decision. The President's job is "to steer the Ship of State."

Definitions of steer
  1. verb
    be a guiding or motivating force or drive
    “The teacher steered the gifted students towards the more challenging courses”
    synonyms: guide
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    type of:
    be in charge of
  2. verb
    direct the course; determine the direction of travelling
    synonyms: channelise, channelize, direct, guide, head, maneuver, manoeuver, manoeuvre, point
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    show 18 types...
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    maneuver into a dock
    cause to sheer
    pull over
    steer a vehicle to the side of the road
    be at or take the helm of
    direct (an aircraft) into a crosswind
    direct carefully and safely
    stand out
    steer away from shore, of ships
    turn to the right, of helms or rudders
    conduct or direct the steering of a ship or plane
    navigate, pilot
    act as the navigator in a car, plane, or vessel and plan, direct, plot the path and position of the conveyance
    canalise, canalize, channel
    direct the flow of
    corner, tree
    force a person or an animal into a position from which he cannot escape
    maneuver a vehicle into a parking space
    dry-dock, drydock
    maneuver (a ship) into a drydock
    guide in interplanetary travel
    park at an angle
    park directly behind another vehicle
    park a vehicle alongside another
    type of:
    command, control
    exercise authoritative control or power over
  3. verb
    direct (oneself) somewhere
    Steer clear of him”
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    type of:
    command, control
    exercise authoritative control or power over
  4. noun
    an indication of potential opportunity
    synonyms: confidential information, hint, lead, tip, wind
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    type of:
    counsel, counseling, counselling, direction, guidance
    something that provides direction or advice as to a decision or course of action
  5. noun
    castrated bull
    synonyms: bullock
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    type of:
    an animal that produces gametes (spermatozoa) that can fertilize female gametes (ova)
    Bos taurus, cattle, cows, kine, oxen
    domesticated bovine animals as a group regardless of sex or age
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