pirate

noun
pi·​rate | \ ˈpī-rət How to pronounce pirate (audio) \

Definition of pirate

 (Entry 1 of 2)

: one who commits or practices piracy

pirate

verb
pirated; pirating

Definition of pirate (Entry 2 of 2)

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

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Other Words from pirate

Noun

piratical \ pə-​ˈra-​ti-​kəl How to pronounce piratical (audio) , pī-​ \ adjective
piratically \ pə-​ˈra-​ti-​k(ə-​)lē How to pronounce piratically (audio) , pī-​ \ adverb

Examples of pirate in a Sentence

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
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Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

Vampires, ghostly pirates, and crow and pumpkin head creatures will be roaming around each exhibit to give a good scare to attraction goers. Jordyn Noennig, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "The Deer District becomes the Fear District with haunted houses, Halloween movies and more beginning Sept. 26," 3 Sep. 2019 Then, in the Gulf of Mexico, the ship was attacked by two English privateers – pirates under a foreign flag of convenience. USA Today, "The founding family you’ve never heard of: The black Tuckers of Hampton, Virginia," 22 Aug. 2019 The festivities include a chance to receive a free ticket to the park for those who visit dressed as pirates, kicking off a push for the Winter Haven theme park’s Pirate Island Hotel, expected to open in the spring. Marco Santana, orlandosentinel.com, "Legoland to feature parades, candy, 5K race at holiday events," 20 Aug. 2019 Warren likens private equity firms to pirates, loading companies up with too much debt, slashing workers and collecting profit, all while using bankruptcy as an exit strategy. Anneken Tappe, CNN, "Elizabeth Warren wants to change the bankruptcy code. Here's what that could mean for American workers," 5 Aug. 2019 Wars, pirates, widespread illnesses and more are at the center of some of Galveston's legends. Darla Guillen Gilthorpe, Houston Chronicle, "Visit these 'haunted' Galveston places," 30 July 2019 This team appears to be acting as pirates, sailing the seas to protect mutantkind. Christian Holub, EW.com, "Marvel unveils new Dawn of X line of X-Men comics at Comic-Con," 20 July 2019 Howard made Oracoke his home, amongst other former pirates, boat pilots, and a Native American tribe known as the Woccon. Perri Ormont Blumberg, Southern Living, "Residents of This Outer Banks Island Speak a Unique Elizabethan English and Pirates Dialect," 27 June 2019 Their destination is Firefly, the getaway-from-the-getaway that previously belonged to renowned playwright Noël Coward and the pirate Sir Henry Morgan and which Blackwell now leases from the Jamaican government. Dan Rys, Billboard, "In Jamaica With Island Records Founder Chris Blackwell," 12 Sep. 2019

Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

In an ironic twist, though, the makers of that firmware have introduced anti-piracy code to prevent people from pirating their own work. Kyle Orland, Ars Technica, "Switch pirates don’t want you to pirate their piracy-enabling firmware," 28 June 2018 These include opening up more Chinese sectors to foreign investment, punishing companies that pirate foreign technology and lowering import tariffs on high-tech goods. Doug Cameron, WSJ, "How the U.S. Can Protect Corporate America’s Tech Secrets From China," 10 Jan. 2019 Online, more than 800,000 people paid to watch it for $10 a stream — a respectable number, even with the million or so people who pirated the fight on Twitch. Megan Farokhmanesh, The Verge, "Logan Paul’s redemption arc is proceeding exactly as planned," 29 Aug. 2018 This year, Sony, which owns World Cup broadcast rights in India, has already issued a warning to potential streaming sites that may try and pirate 2018 matches. Kurt Wagner, Recode, "World Cup’s soccer highlights will put social media’s copyright tools to the test," 15 June 2018 FlightSimLab owner Lefteris Kalamaras actually confirmed that this was the case in a forum post, but asserted that this functionality was only turned against users running software that the company has deemed to be pirated. Eric Limer, Popular Mechanics, "Flight Simulator Software Packed in Password-Stealing Malware to Battle Piracy," 20 Feb. 2018 SurfSafe will also help users to identify whether an image was pirated from another site and flag visuals that have been photoshopped. Rachel Gutman, The Atlantic, "A Web Tool That Lets People Choose Their Own ‘Sources of Truth’," 29 June 2018 The lawsuit against Dragon Media says the box and the software provided by Dragon Media greatly simplify the process of viewing pirated video. Jon Brodkin, Ars Technica, "“Free TV” box lawyer says video industry is “digging its own grave”," 17 Jan. 2018 The photos are childhood snapshots of Ms. Perry and her twin brother, Sandy, who was one of the N.C.A.A. basketball players whose likenesses were pirated, just a few years ago, by the video game company E.A. Sports. Martha Schwendener, Jason Farago And Will Heinrich, New York Times, "What to See in New York Art Galleries This Week," 24 Jan. 2018

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.

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First Known Use of pirate

Noun

14th century, in the meaning defined above

Verb

1577, in the meaning defined at transitive sense 1

History and Etymology for pirate

Noun

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

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Statistics for pirate

Last Updated

11 Oct 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for pirate

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

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More Definitions for pirate

pirate

noun

English Language Learners Definition of pirate

 (Entry 1 of 2)

: someone who attacks and steals from a ship at sea
: someone who illegally copies a product or invention without permission
: a person or organization that illegally makes television or radio broadcasts

pirate

verb

English Language Learners Definition of pirate (Entry 2 of 2)

: to illegally copy (something) without permission

pirate

noun
pi·​rate | \ ˈpī-rət How to pronounce pirate (audio) \

Kids Definition of pirate

: a robber of ships at sea : a person who commits piracy

pirate

noun
pi·​rate | \ ˈpī-rət How to pronounce pirate (audio) \

Legal Definition of pirate

 (Entry 1 of 2)

: a person who commits piracy

pirate

verb
pirated; pirating

Legal Definition of pirate (Entry 2 of 2)

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

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