pirate

1 of 2

noun

pi·​rate ˈpī-rət How to pronounce pirate (audio)
: one who commits or practices piracy
piratical adjective
piratically adverb

pirate

2 of 2

verb

pirated; pirating

transitive verb

1
: to commit piracy on
2
: to take or appropriate by piracy: such as
a
: to reproduce without authorization especially in infringement of copyright
b
: to lure away from another employer by offers of betterment

intransitive verb

: to commit or practice piracy

Example Sentences

Noun the famous pirate Jean Lafitte A software pirate made bootleg copies of the computer program. Verb He was accused of pirating their invention. using pirated software that was subject to copyright
Recent Examples on the Web
Noun
Check out this local store offering a variety of themed collars for anyone on your list, from wizard and pirate fans, to foodies and nature lovers. Cassie Armstrong, Orlando Sentinel, 22 Nov. 2022 Presicce traces its history to the middle ages, when settlements spread out around a Saracen fortress built by monks who dug crypts and underground olive mills as shelters for pirate raid survivors. Silvia Marchetti, CNN, 18 Nov. 2022 At a 45 year old Willaby woman who was suspected in three porch pirate thefts, but, uh, Bell also has some, some advice. Laura Johnston, cleveland, 16 Nov. 2022 Another pirate sits astride a cannon that fires and recoils. Mark Eddington, The Salt Lake Tribune, 31 Oct. 2022 Right off the heels of roles in Crossroads and Center Stage, Saldaña joined the Pirates of the Caribbean franchise to play Anamaria, a tough smuggler and pirate wronged by Captain Jack Sparrow on more than one occasion. Jess Leon, EW.com, 25 Oct. 2022 Made with machine-washable polyester, this costume comes with two arms (with plush hooks for hands), a pirate’s hat, and is worn around your dog’s front legs and fastened behind their neck. Madison Yauger, Peoplemag, 18 Oct. 2022 An estimated 1,000 or more are expected to pack the pirate ship for Halloween. Mark Eddington, The Salt Lake Tribune, 31 Oct. 2022 Make this dynamic set into three different creations: a pirate ship, a rustic inn, or Skull Island. Jonathan Bender, Popular Mechanics, 13 Oct. 2022
Verb
If your kids want to go beyond listening, check out the website, which has links to the book series (for middle-grade kids), information on live shows, and pirate T-shirts. Scott Gilbertson, WIRED, 19 Aug. 2022 By all accounts, Mr. Wilson was erudite about the recondite, a prolific author of some 60 books on topics ranging from angels to pirate utopias and all manner of renegade religions. New York Times, 11 June 2022 In other cases, pirate screenings have simply been organized by companies or private individuals who rented theaters, with owners apparently turning a blind eye. Nick Holdsworth, Variety, 6 June 2022 But honestly, the third-act sequence, the boat battle, was actually even more challenging than the [airplane] sequence, just because those pirate ships and all the action that takes place was very involved and really difficult to execute. Brian Davids, The Hollywood Reporter, 18 Feb. 2022 When hackers pirate their way past corporate firewalls and publicize the private lives of consumers, the betrayal of consumer trust and the aura of corporate incompetence should sink a company’s reputation. Zenger News, Forbes, 30 Jan. 2022 Thousands of people did pirate-y things, snagged beads from the parade route, and generally ate, drank and were merry. Curt Anderson, ajc, 30 Jan. 2022 Locast exploited a copyright loophole for nonprofits to pirate content. The Editorial Board, WSJ, 28 Jan. 2022 New Hampshire's Isles of Shoals is primarily known for its ties to pirate lore. Chelsey Cox, USA TODAY, 17 Oct. 2021 See More

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

Word History

Etymology

Noun

Middle English, from Middle French or Latin; Middle French, from Latin pirata, from Greek peiratēs, from peiran to attempt — more at fear

First Known Use

Noun

14th century, in the meaning defined above

Verb

1577, in the meaning defined at transitive sense 1

Time Traveler
The first known use of pirate was in the 14th century

Dictionary Entries Near pirate

Cite this Entry

“Pirate.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/pirate. Accessed 26 Nov. 2022.

Kids Definition

pirate 1 of 2

noun

pi·​rate ˈpī-rət How to pronounce pirate (audio)
: a person who commits piracy
piratical adjective
piratically adverb

pirate

2 of 2

verb

pirated; pirating
: to take by piracy
pirate an invention

Legal Definition

pirate 1 of 2

noun

pi·​rate ˈpī-rət How to pronounce pirate (audio)
: a person who commits piracy

pirate

2 of 2

verb

pirated; pirating

transitive verb

: to take or appropriate by piracy
especially : to copy, distribute, or use without authorization especially in infringement of copyright
the pirated software
pirating cable signals

intransitive verb

: to commit piracy compare bootleg

More from Merriam-Webster on pirate

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