piracy

noun pi·ra·cy \ ˈpī-rə-sē \
Updated on: 12 Nov 2017

Definition of piracy

plural piracies
1 : an act of robbery on the high seas; also : an act resembling such robbery
2 : robbery on the high seas
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

Recent Examples of piracy from the Web

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

Origin and Etymology of piracy

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


PIRACY Defined for English Language Learners

piracy

noun

Definition of piracy for English Language Learners

  • : 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


PIRACY Defined for Kids

piracy

noun pi·ra·cy \ ˈpī-rə-sē \

Definition of piracy for Students

plural piracies
1 : robbery of a ship at sea
2 : the use of another's work or invention without permission

Law Dictionary

piracy

noun pi·ra·cy \ ˈpī-rə-sē \

legal Definition of piracy

plural piracies
1 : an act of robbery especially 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 — see also air piracy
2 a : the unauthorized copying, distribution, or use of another's production (as a film) especially in infringement of a copyright
  • software piracy
b : the unauthorized use, interception, or receipt of encoded communications (as satellite cable programming) especially 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 : the crime of committing piracy


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