sail·​or ˈsā-lər How to pronounce sailor (audio)
: one that sails
especially : mariner
: a member of a ship's crew
: a traveler by water
: a stiff straw hat with a low flat crown and straight circular brim

Examples of sailor in a Sentence

He worked as a sailor on a cargo ship. the sailors were glad to be arriving in port after their long voyage
Recent Examples on the Web The change was largely made at the request of sailors, who saw the rule as pointless and irritating. Gary Robbins, San Diego Union-Tribune, 15 Feb. 2024 Some 20 years later, America’s sailors look out at a different world. Gil Barndollar, TIME, 12 Feb. 2024 The Erasmus was once part of a five-vessel Dutch fleet with 500 sailors, but after years of skirmishes with the Spanish and Portuguese, plus rampant vitamin deficiencies, only a dozen men remain. Daniel Fienberg, The Hollywood Reporter, 12 Feb. 2024 Pater Noster is a passion project designed by four local entrepreneurs, all former sailors and fisherman. Michelle Tchea, Robb Report, 30 Jan. 2024 Three hundred ships are not enough to fully sustain that effort while preserving the maintenance, training, and downtime required by our sailors to keep them at peak efficiency. Luther Ray Abel, National Review, 25 Jan. 2024 And that’s not all — sometimes Gold sailors can get exclusive access to other members-only experiences on the ship. Jacqueline Dole, Travel + Leisure, 1 Feb. 2024 When an American naval destroyer escorting a Kuwaiti oil tanker was hit by an Iranian mine, injuring ten sailors, the Reagan administration responded by engaging the Iranian navy in an eight-hour battle that destroyed half the Iranian fleet. The Editors, National Review, 29 Jan. 2024 In the Eastern Mediterranean, where the USS Ford spent the bulk of its deployment, there is an amphibious ready group made up of about 2,400 sailors and Marines as of Wednesday. Eleanor Watson, CBS News, 17 Jan. 2024 See More

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'sailor.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History


alteration of sailer

First Known Use

1577, in the meaning defined at sense 1a

Time Traveler
The first known use of sailor was in 1577

Dictionary Entries Near sailor

Cite this Entry

“Sailor.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 2 Mar. 2024.

Kids Definition


sail·​or ˈsā-lər How to pronounce sailor (audio)
: a person who sails : seaman

More from Merriam-Webster on sailor

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