pri·​va·​teer | \ ˌprī-və-ˈtir How to pronounce privateer (audio) \

Definition of privateer

: an armed private ship licensed to attack enemy shipping also : a sailor on such a ship

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Other Words from privateer

privateer intransitive verb

Examples of privateer in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web

Not surprisingly, the privateers simply continued their old ways, now as freelancers. Rinker Buck, WSJ, "‘Black Flags, Blue Waters’ Review: To Live and Die a Pirate King," 26 Sep. 2018 While the manufacturers are the heart of race weekend, the privateers are the soul. Mitchell Nicholson, Popular Mechanics, "The Great American Motorcycle Racing Revival," 7 Sep. 2018 Factory teams will come and go, but a sports car series like IMSA lives and dies by its privateers. Jonathan M. Gitlin, Ars Technica, "The Petit Le Mans: More proof we’re in a golden age for sportscar racing," 18 Oct. 2018 El Lago sheltered French pirate and privateer Jean Lafitte in the early 19th century. Yvette Orozco, Houston Chronicle, "How well do you know Bay Area history?," 7 June 2018 All seven privateer outfits from the MotoGP paddock will enter the new series in 2019. Jonathan Hawkins, CNN, "From a roar to a whirr -- MotoGP goes electric," 14 June 2018 The fourth annual Pirates Ashore at the Mayflower Society House and around Plymouth features reenactors portraying colonists and privateers, cannon fire, a pirate encampment, a sword fight, and even a murder trial., "Five things to do around Boston, May 14-20," 11 May 2018 That was five seconds faster than the non-hybrid, privateer P1 cars that make up the rest of the class for the Super Season and four seconds faster than the last time hybrid P1 cars tested at Paul Ricard. Jonathan M. Gitlin, Ars Technica, "Faster than an F1 car: Porsche is breaking records with the 919 Hybrid," 9 Apr. 2018 Many see Sheikh Amoudi less as a beneficent local son than a Saudi privateer. Danny Hakim And Ben Hubbard, New York Times, "He Owns Much of Ethiopia. The Saudis Won’t Say Where They’re Hiding Him.," 16 Mar. 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'privateer.' 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 privateer

circa 1641, in the meaning defined above

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Time Traveler for privateer

The first known use of privateer was circa 1641

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English Language Learners Definition of privateer

: a ship used in the past to attack and rob other ships also : a sailor on a privateer


pri·​va·​teer | \ ˌprī-və-ˈtir How to pronounce privateer (audio) \

Kids Definition of privateer

1 : a privately owned armed ship permitted by its government to make war on ships of an enemy country
2 : a sailor on a privateer

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More from Merriam-Webster on privateer

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with privateer

Spanish Central: Translation of privateer

Nglish: Translation of privateer for Spanish Speakers Encyclopedia article about privateer

Comments on privateer

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to move with exaggerated bouncy motions

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