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

More than 300 years ago, Edward Teach, better known as Blackbeard, whose whiskered visage virtually defines the image of the 18th century pirate, ran his flagship aground near Beaufort, N.C. David G. Savage, latimes.com, "With Blackbeard’s ship, an argument about 21st century piracy lands in Supreme Court," 3 June 2019 The new Tangled Shore patrol zone, where the campaign takes place, has a hardscrabble pirate vibe to it that's very cool. Aaron Zimmerman, Ars Technica, "Destiny 2: Forsaken review: Hallelujah, Destiny’s back," 19 Sep. 2018 But the photo that really got fans riled up from the holiday weekend was his last one of the famous Roloff Farms pirate ship. Kayla Keegan, Good Housekeeping, "Matt Roloff Hints He Considered Leaving 'Little People, Big World' in New Instagram," 4 Sep. 2018 Apart from the odd pirate queen, female characters were damsels in distress or princesses waiting to be rescued. Tom Shippey, WSJ, "Science Fiction: Fantasy, Thy Name Is Woman," 8 Mar. 2019 One of my favorite books of 2017 was io9 founder Annalee Newitz’s debut novel, Autonomous, about pharmaceutical pirates named Jack and the robot and government agent pair who pursue her. Andrew Liptak, The Verge, "All the science fiction and fantasy books we’re looking forward to in 2019," 30 Dec. 2018 Among the stops are Nipe Bay, home of the lush pine forests of the Sierra del Cristal range and Guayabo waterfalls, and Isla de la Juventud, a former pirate hideout with coral reefs, shipwrecks, and the otherworldly Punta del Este Caves. Klara Glowczewska, Town & Country, "The Best Places to Travel in 2019," 7 Dec. 2018 Buy Now New cast members for Season 4 include Maria Doyle Kennedy as Jamie's aunt, Jocasta Cameron, and Ed Speelers as the antagonist pirate Stephen Bonnet. Julie Kosin, Harper's BAZAAR, "Outlander Season 4 Officially Has a Release Date, So Get Your Kilt Ready," 31 Aug. 2018 At Disneyland, a number of the pirates in the background are still A1s. Matt Blitz, Popular Mechanics, "The A1000 Is Disney's Advanced Animatronic Bringing the Galaxy's Edge Star Wars Theme Park To Life," 28 Feb. 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

7 Jun 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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Comments on pirate

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