piracy

noun
pi·​ra·​cy | \ ˈpī-rə-sē How to pronounce piracy (audio) \
plural piracies

Definition of piracy

1 : an act of robbery on the high seas also : an act resembling such robbery
2 : robbery on the high seas
3a : the unauthorized use of another's production, invention, or conception especially in infringement of a copyright
b : the illicit accessing of broadcast signals

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Synonyms for piracy

Synonyms

pirating

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Examples of piracy in a Sentence

piracy on the high seas many countries have harsh penalties for piracy now

Recent Examples on the Web

After the Constitution was ratified, the federal government and states used forfeiture to enforce laws against smuggling and to stop piracy. The Editorial Board, WSJ, "Fines and Punishment," 29 Nov. 2018 After returning to civilian life, DeFranco spent a few years working for hire in maritime security, combating piracy. James Sullivan, BostonGlobe.com, "Former SEAL continues to serve, but this time it’s coffee at Battle Grounds in Haverhill," 24 May 2018 The January release date allowed piracy to flourish online, cutting into ticket sales. Brooks Barnes, New York Times, "‘Jumanji’ Charges Forth, ‘The Last Jedi’ Fizzles in China," 7 Jan. 2018 The PLA Navy participates in the anti-piracy mission in the Horn of Africa, which gives it considerable experience in long-distance voyages and security missions. Kyle Mizokami, Popular Mechanics, "Is the Chinese Military Ready for War?," 27 Nov. 2018 The Recording Industry Association of America had filed to stop production of the Diamond Rio, an early MP3 player that the RIAA claimed promoted piracy. Adi Robertson, The Verge, "Remembering Grim Fandango: this week in tech, 20 years ago," 3 Nov. 2018 Services like Spotify and Apple Music have returned the music business to growth by getting consumers to pay again after years of rampant piracy. Anne Steele, WSJ, "Attention Shoppers: The Background Music You Hear May Not Be Licensed," 15 Oct. 2018 President Barack Obama also issued national emergencies in response to African conflicts like Somali piracy, as well as taking on Chinese cybersecurity threats and Russia after the invasion of Crimea in Ukraine. Lucy Diavolo, Teen Vogue, "Donald Trump Is Threatening to Declare a National Emergency to Get Border Wall Funding. Here's Why He Shouldn’t.," 11 Jan. 2019 The way people pirate music has evolved along with their legitimate listening habits, and piracy is curbing the potential market for subscribers, the International Federation of the Phonographic Industry concluded in a report released Tuesday. Anne Steele, WSJ, "Music Piracy Remains a Problem in the Spotify Era," 10 Oct. 2018

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.

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First Known Use of piracy

1537, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for piracy

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

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Dictionary Entries near piracy

piquia

pir

piracetam

piracy

Piraeus

piragua

pirai

Statistics for piracy

Last Updated

11 Mar 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for piracy

The first known use of piracy was in 1537

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More Definitions for piracy

piracy

noun

English Language Learners Definition of piracy

: 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

noun
pi·​ra·​cy | \ ˈpī-rə-sē How to pronounce piracy (audio) \
plural piracies

Kids Definition of piracy

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

piracy

noun
pi·​ra·​cy | \ ˈpī-rə-sē How to pronounce piracy (audio) \
plural piracies

Legal Definition of piracy

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
2a : 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 signalsUnited States v. Harrell, 983 F.2d 36 (1993)
3 : the crime of committing piracy

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Comments on piracy

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