merchant marine

merchant marine


: all of a country's ships that are used for trading goods rather than for war; also : the people who work such ships

Full Definition of MERCHANT MARINE

:  the privately or publicly owned commercial ships of a nation
:  the personnel of a merchant marine; specifically :  a member of a merchant marine
merchant mariner noun


  1. a member of the merchant marine

First Known Use of MERCHANT MARINE


merchant marine

noun    (Concise Encyclopedia)

Commercial ships of a nation, whether privately or publicly owned, and the personnel who operate such ships, as distinct from the personnel of naval vessels. Merchant ships are used to transport people, raw materials, and manufactured goods. Merchant fleets can be important economic assets for nations with limited natural resources or a small industrial base. By carrying the commerce of other nations on the seas, a merchant fleet contributes to its home nation's foreign-exchange earnings, promotes trade, and provides employment. The U.S. Merchant Marine Academy (founded 1943) is in Kings Point, N.Y.


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