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
Jeff Moore, 32, a John Deere salesman whose brother is a merchant mariner and whose father is first mate on a tugboat, keeps a journal of each exploration. Pam Belluck

Example Sentences

a member of the merchant marine
Recent Examples on the Web With a civilian merchant marine reduced almost exclusively to domestic traffic and the infrastructure to produce new vessels limited, the simple reality is that the U.S. would face serious difficulty in an extended trans-Pacific conflict. Alexander B. Gray, WSJ, 18 Aug. 2022 As Hupp and her parents dined, George Hennard, a former merchant marine, drove a pickup through the restaurant window and moments later started shooting. Dallas News, 11 July 2022 And the labor supply issues in merchant marine transportation are emblematic of the conundrum seen in a variety of decently paying, male-heavy jobs in the trades. Talmon Joseph Smith Lindsey Wasson, New York Times, 6 Dec. 2022 Hammett wasn’t close with his father, a merchant marine. Amanda Petrusich, The New Yorker, 28 Nov. 2022 Snake Island’s liberation signaled to the Ukrainian merchant marine that the western Black Sea was safe for commerce. David Axe, Forbes, 18 Aug. 2022 The other leader, Lt. Ihor, 32, a broad-shouldered Odessa merchant marine engineer with a shaved head, seemed more comfortable in his new role. Yaroslav Trofimov, WSJ, 17 Aug. 2022 There is also an urgent need for a merchant marine capable of supporting the military in wartime and a cadre of skilled tradesmen who can perform vital industrial tasks such as welding and pipe-fitting. Alexander B. Gray, WSJ, 18 Aug. 2022 Richardson had been born in London and had gone to sea at the age of 12, at first working as a cabin boy in the British merchant marine, then working his way up the ranks until becoming a captain. Gary Kamiya, San Francisco Chronicle, 13 May 2022 See More

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

Word History

First Known Use

1839, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Time Traveler
The first known use of merchant marine was in 1839

Dictionary Entries Near merchant marine

Cite this Entry

“Merchant marine.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 24 Mar. 2023.

Kids Definition

merchant marine

: the commercial ships of a nation
: the persons who work in a merchant marine

More from Merriam-Webster on merchant marine

Last Updated: - Updated example sentences
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