1) A young ox, especially one which has been castrated.
1607 did drive at Steresby 8 oxen 15 kyne one bull & 7 steares
1623 6 young beasts, 4 of them steares and 2 whyes, Elmswell
1644 1 steare, 1 quye, Lepton. Modern glossaries say that a steer hide shows ‘a tight grain structure’ which makes it an ideal choice for leather upholstery. Since it is distinguished from other hides in early accounts it is likely that its distinctive qualities were recognised by tanners in earlier centuries: 1617 my black steare hide xxvijs vid, Almondbury
1645 20 country steer hides and 50 cow hides, Kirkheaton. In the cordwainers’ ordinances in Beverley its quality was recognised: 1627 ‘nor into the outer sole any other leather than the best of the ox or steer hide’.