mar·​i·​ner | \ˈmer-ə-nər, ˈma-rə-\

Definition of mariner 

: a person who navigates or assists in navigating a ship : seaman, sailor

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Did You Know?

In Coleridge's Rime of the Ancient Mariner, an old seaman tells of how, by shooting a friendly albatross, he had brought storms and disaster to his ship, and how as punishment his shipmates hung the great seabird around the mariner's neck and made him wear it until it rotted. The word mariner has occasionally been used to mean simply "explorer", as in the famous Mariner spaceflights in the 1960s and '70s, the first to fly close to Mars, Venus, and Mercury.

Examples of mariner in a Sentence

the ancient Phoenicians were outstanding mariners who explored and colonized much of the eastern Mediterranean

Recent Examples on the Web

Along the mainland and on the Outer Banks, some view him as a gifted mariner, law-skirting entrepreneur, swashbuckling antihero and — if nothing else — a source of tourism gold because of the annual pirate festivals sparked by his notoriety. John Bordsen, USA TODAY, "N.C.'s haul from ‘native son’ Blackbeard's 300th anniversary: Tourist gold," 22 June 2018 The early days of sea exploration, especially in the Arctic, are filled with accounts of mariners following skeins of migrating geese to make a landfall. John Schandelmeier, Anchorage Daily News, "Some words on birds and their impact on Alaska and the rest of the world," 24 June 2018 Coast Guard officials in South Portland said Thursday that the thefts pose a risk to public safety, as the brass gongs and bells produce sounds that help mariners navigate through poor visibility conditions. Fox News, "Coast Guard: Buoy navigation devices stolen off Maine coast," 1 June 2018 Point Reyes Lighthouse To help mariners navigate the tricky Point Reyes Headlands, the U.S. Lighthouse Service built this lighthouse in 1870 in Inverness, Calif. USA TODAY, "14 must-visit lighthouses around the USA," 13 June 2018 Talk about your experience telling this story as a woman — most of the histories and narratives from the mariner industry are heavily male. Joshunda Sanders, Longreads, "Who Sank El Faro? An Interview With Rachel Slade," 23 May 2018 Boat operators must undergo drug and alcohol testing and a criminal background check to receive the merchant mariner credential. Hailey Mensik,, "Coast Guard warns of illegal charter boats: 'They’re taking your money, and they might also take your life'," 27 June 2018 Along the rocky inlets and foggy harbors of Maine, the Coast Guard maintains about 100 large buoys that use heavy brass gongs and bells to help guide mariners to port in the worst weather. David Abel,, "Someone is stealing bells and gongs from buoys in Maine," 25 June 2018 The oil and gas industry is vital for Alaska, accounting for more than 45,000 jobs, including many mariners who guide tankers in and out of the Port of Valdez. Anchorage Daily News, "Alyeska Pipeline is putting Prince William Sound at risk to save some money," 28 Feb. 2018

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

14th century, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for mariner

Middle English, from Anglo-French, from Medieval Latin marinarius, from marinus

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Statistics for mariner

Last Updated

17 Oct 2018

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Time Traveler for mariner

The first known use of mariner was in the 14th century

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mar·​i·​ner | \ˈmer-ə-nər \

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