buc·​ca·​neer | \ ˌbə-kə-ˈnir How to pronounce buccaneer (audio) \

Definition of buccaneer

1 : any of the freebooters preying on Spanish ships and settlements especially in 17th century West Indies broadly : pirate
2 : an unscrupulous adventurer especially in politics or business

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Other Words from buccaneer

buccaneer intransitive verb
buccaneerish \ ˌbə-​kə-​ˈnir-​ish How to pronounce buccaneerish (audio) \ adjective

Synonyms for buccaneer


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Examples of buccaneer in a Sentence

buccaneers who preyed upon treasure-laden ships in the Caribbean
Recent Examples on the Web Over the following years, the buccaneer captains fell one by one. National Geographic, "Ahoy! It's the real pirates of the Caribbean—and the Carolinas," 2 July 2020 Margot Robbie is sailing into new blockbuster waters, veering from Harley Quinn's girl gang to having her own Disney buccaneer squad. Brian Truitt, USA TODAY, "Margot Robbie comes aboard to star in a new 'Pirates of the Caribbean' movie for Disney," 26 June 2020 The sinister Buena Festa invites all buccaneers to a Pirate Festival, with a chance to acquire a fabulously valuable relic belonging to Gol D. Roger, King of the Pirates. Charles Solomon, Los Angeles Times, "Review: ‘One Piece: Stampede’ screens as the manga-inspired series turns 20," 23 Oct. 2019 Human habitation: Though Spanish sailors, buccaneers, and whalers soon followed in Berlanga’s wake, the islands’ inhospitable terrain discouraged permanent habitation. National Geographic, "EXPLORE THE WORLD WITH NATIONAL GEOGRAPHIC," 7 June 2019 By then, the island had long been associated with buccaneers. Rich Cohen, WSJ, "The Hidden History of Liberty Island," 11 July 2019 Pirates Cove Playground has a huge pirate ship for buccaneer and swashbuckler adventures. Jennifer Boehm, sun-sentinel.com, "Beat the heat: South Florida’s best water parks, pools, splash parks," 23 July 2019 The dress is modern, but in a fanciful way with amusingly gaudy getups for the courtiers and lots of vests and buccaneer boots among Susan Szegda’s costumes. Sam Hurwitt, The Mercury News, "Review: Charming SF Shakes’ ‘As You Like It’ has a secret musical weapon," 10 July 2019 Whereas buccaneers in the Gulf of Guinea and South-East Asia stole cargo, the Somalis seized crews and often the ships themselves, hauling them back to the ungoverned coast of their lawless state. The Economist, "The Gulf of Guinea is now the world’s worst piracy hotspot," 29 June 2019

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'buccaneer.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of buccaneer

1686, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for buccaneer

French boucanier woodsman, pirate (in the 17th century West Indies), from boucaner to smoke meat, from boucan wooden frame for smoking meat, from Tupi mokaʔẽ́, mbokaʔẽ́, from mo-, mbo- causative marker + kaʔẽ to be roasted, dried

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Time Traveler for buccaneer

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The first known use of buccaneer was in 1686

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Cite this Entry

“Buccaneer.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/buccaneer. Accessed 20 Oct. 2020.

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How to pronounce buccaneer (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of buccaneer

: a person who tries to become wealthy or powerful by doing things that are illegal or dishonest


buc·​ca·​neer | \ ˌbə-kə-ˈnir How to pronounce buccaneer (audio) \

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