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 Northern Exposure, a shop in Port Clinton, is bringing its Land Ship, an RV that has been transformed into a massive pirate ship. Laura Johnston, cleveland, "What to do at the 2020 Progressive Cleveland Boat Show," 31 Dec. 2019 This area was hosted by one of BPMs local partners, the Midburn Pirates, who do a larger pirate ship art car on wheels for the country's annual regional Burning Man event in the Negev Desert. Katie Bain, Billboard, "The Best of the BPM Festival Tel Aviv, Featuring Sasha, a Group of Local Pirates & More," 1 Oct. 2019 In 1619, an English pirate ship, the White Lion, arrived at Point Comfort, near Hampton. Gregory S. Schneider, BostonGlobe.com, "Virginia marks the dawn of American slavery in 1619 with solemn ceremonies, speeches, and songs," 24 Aug. 2019 In 1619, an English pirate ship, the White Lion, arrived at Point Comfort, near Hampton. The Washington Post, oregonlive.com, "Virginia marks the dawn of American slavery in 1619 with solemn ceremonies, speeches and songs," 24 Aug. 2019 Outside in the blinding sun, Christoph Buchel’s installation of the rickety pirate ship manned by Libyan traffickers—which crashed and sank in 2015 off the Italian island of Lampedusa—was absolutely chilling. Hamish Bowles, Vogue, "Hamish Bowles's Whirlwind Tour of the 2019 Venice Biennale," 20 May 2019 Because everyone knows a smart video doorbell is one of the best ways to keep your holiday packages from being swiped by porch pirates. Rachel Murphy, USA TODAY, "The best Ring Doorbell Black Friday deals," 29 Nov. 2019 The locations used in the hunt were recommended by GoldHunt's sneaky scouts, and riddles crafted by real pirates are meant to lead participants astray. Rebecca Hennes, Houston Chronicle, "Houstonians can win $100K through a real-life treasure hunt next month," 19 Nov. 2019 Alharthi tells us that Zarifa’s forebears were kidnapped from Kenya, via Zanzibar, by pirates in the late nineteenth century, when wealthy Omanis were craftily evading the pact that the Sultan had made with the British to outlaw the slave trade. James Wood, The New Yorker, "An Omani Novel Exposes Marriage and Its Miseries," 7 Oct. 2019 Recent Examples on the Web: Verb In some areas, such as entertainment, technology, and pharmaceuticals, foreign companies looked on helplessly as their products were pirated and their copyrights breached. John Cassidy, The New Yorker, "The Uneasy Truce of Trump’s Trade Deal with China," 16 Jan. 2020 But can watching bootlegged or pirated video on the internet get viewers into trouble, too? Dalvin Brown, USA TODAY, "Is streaming video from sketchy websites illegal?," 16 Dec. 2019 And, as anybody who’s pirated content knows, keeping the lid on software is virtually impossible. Matthew De Silva, Quartz, "What use are crypto collectibles?," 21 Nov. 2019 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

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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Time Traveler for pirate

Time Traveler

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

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Statistics for pirate

Last Updated

18 Jan 2020

Cite this Entry

“Pirate.” The Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster Inc., https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/pirates. Accessed 25 January 2020.

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More Definitions for pirate

pirate

noun
How to pronounce pirate (audio)

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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Comments on pirate

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