cor·​sair | \ ˈkȯr-ˌser How to pronounce corsair (audio) ; kȯr-ˈser \

Definition of corsair

: pirate especially : a privateer of the Barbary Coast

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Examples of corsair in a Sentence

no one knows the fate of the corsair's treasure-filled ship
Recent Examples on the Web On a resupply mission to Malta in August 1801, the twelve-gun schooner Enterprise under the command of Lieutenant Andrew Sterett encountered a 14-gun Tripolitan corsair. John Yoo, National Review, "Lessons from the United States’ Showdown with the Barbary Pirates," 15 Jan. 2020 Congratulations then to President Trump and America’s intelligence and military for pursuing this corsair to his lair and causing him to kill himself (and, tragically, his final victims, two children). Nr Editors, National Review, "The Week," 7 Nov. 2019 Queen of the seas, Britain seemed to countenance the pirating activities of the North African corsairs. Thomas Wendel, National Review, "The Beginning of a Nation," 4 July 2019 From ancient Norse princess Alfhild to Sayyida al-Hurra of the Barbary corsairs, these women sailed beside–and sometimes in command of–male pirates. Lorraine Boissoneault, Smithsonian, "The Swashbuckling History of Women Pirates," 12 Apr. 2017

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'corsair.' 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 corsair

1549, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for corsair

Middle French & Old Italian; Middle French corsaire pirate, from Old Occitan corsari, from Old Italian corsaro, from Medieval Latin cursarius, from Latin cursus course — more at course

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Time Traveler for corsair

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The first known use of corsair was in 1549

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Cite this Entry

“Corsair.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 30 Oct. 2020.

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