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 copyrightb : the illicit accessing of broadcast signals
Examples of piracy in a Sentence
piracy on the high seas
many countries have harsh penalties for piracy now
Recent Examples of piracy from the Web
The Supreme Court has traditionally affirmed expansive civil forfeiture rules by reference to colonial practices rooted in admiralty, piracy, and customs law.
His first deployment to the Mediterranean was a NATO deployment for an anti-piracy operation.
The protracted seizure has worried the region about the extent the Islamic State's agenda may have gained traction in the southern Philippines, which is more used to banditry, piracy, and separatism than radical Islam.
Most of her contemporaries would have been appalled, but seeing that piracy was the ultimate compliment paid to success, Chanel loved it.
In the old days, studios would sell a movie for $20,000 to $50,000, because piracy was rampant.
Anti-piracy and convoy protection missions were right up their alley.
Around the new millennium, when Metallica was trying to sink digital music piracy, college-aged acoustic rock trio Dispatch was sailing it across the country.
Though piracy may have taken a bite out of the porn industry’s profits, the rise of amateur pornography both cut into the market and revealed the market’s appetite for tastes that had long been ignored.
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
First Known Use: 1537See Words from the same year
PIRACY Defined for English Language Learners
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
Definition of piracy for Students
1 : robbery of a ship at sea
2 : the use of another's work or invention without permission
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
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 signals — United States v. Harrell, 983 F.2d 36 (1993)
3 : the crime of committing piracy
Seen and Heard
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