Quantcast
Merriam-Webster Logo
  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
  • Medical
  • Scrabble
  • Spanish Central
  • Learner's Dictionary

piracy

play
noun pi·ra·cy \ˈpī-rə-sē\

Simple Definition of piracy

  • : the act of attacking and stealing from a ship at sea

  • : the act of illegally copying someone's product or invention without permission

  • : the act of illegally making television or radio broadcasts

Source: Merriam-Webster's Learner's Dictionary

Full Definition of piracy

plural piracies

  1. 1 :  an act of robbery on the high seas; also :  an act resembling such robbery

  2. 2 :  robbery on the high seas

  3. 3 a :  the unauthorized use of another's production, invention, or conception especially in infringement of a copyright b :  the illicit accessing of broadcast signals

Examples of piracy in a sentence

  1. piracy on the high seas

  2. <many countries have harsh penalties for piracy now>



Origin of piracy

Medieval Latin piratia, from Late Greek peirateia, from Greek peiratēs pirate


First Known Use: 1537


PIRACY Defined for Kids

piracy

play
noun pi·ra·cy \ˈpī-rə-sē\

Definition of piracy for Students

plural piracies

  1. 1 :  robbery of a ship at sea

  2. 2 :  the use of another's work or invention without permission




Law Dictionary

piracy

play
noun pi·ra·cy \ˈpī-rə-sē\

Legal Definition of piracy

plural piracies

  1. 1 :  an act of robbery esp. on the high seas; specifically :  an illegal act of violence, detention, or plunder committed for private ends by crew or passengers of a private ship or aircraft against another ship or aircraft on the high seas or in a place outside the jurisdiction of any state

  2. 2a :  the unauthorized copying, distribution, or use of another's production (as a film) esp. in infringement of a copyright <software piracy> b :  the unauthorized use, interception, or receipt of encoded communications (as satellite cable programming) esp. to avoid paying fees for use <the statute's purpose is to proscribe the piracy of programming signals — United States v. Harrell, 983 F.2d 36 (1993)>

  3. 3 :  the crime of committing piracy





Seen and Heard

What made you want to look up piracy? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).

WORD OF THE DAY

to eat gluttonously or ravenously

Get Word of the Day daily email!

WORD GAMES

Take a 3-minute break and test your skills!

image567572573

Which of these is a synonym of unctuous?

oily angry maudlin prompt
Name That Thing

Test your visual vocabulary with our 10-question challenge!

TAKE THE QUIZ
SCRABBLE® Sprint

Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.

TAKE THE QUIZ