sail·or | \ ˈsā-lər \

Definition of sailor 

1a : one that sails especially : mariner

b(1) : a member of a ship's crew

(2) : seaman sense 2b

2 : a traveler by water

3 : a stiff straw hat with a low flat crown and straight circular brim

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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

Its 142 sailors have to find space on the 360-foot long submarine, and have to learn how to sleep and work in the same area. Frank Vaisvilas, Lake County News-Sun, "From Grayslake to the North Pole: Lake County native describes service aboard submarine," 7 June 2018 In 1954, explosions rocked the aircraft carrier USS Bennington off Rhode Island, killing 103 sailors., "This day in history," 26 May 2018 How exactly Iberville and his fellow sailors marked the occasion, if at all, is unknown. Doug Maccash,, "Oh no they didn't. Billboards claim Mardi Gras happened in Mobile first: report," 31 Jan. 2018 Starting this weekend, sailors are gearing up for the 2018 Bell's Beer Bayview Mackinac Race. Susan Selasky, Detroit Free Press, "How 5 Port Huron-to-Mackinac racers feed sailboat crews," 13 July 2018 Seventeen sailors died after the USS Fitzgerald and then the McCain collided with commercial vessels in the Pacific Ocean in the summer of 2017. Ken Moritsugu,, "US Navy dedicates Japan-based destroyer to McCain," 13 July 2018 The aircraft wing encompasses 14,000 Marines and 200 sailors. Andrew Dyer,, "Miramar air wing welcomes new commanding general," 13 July 2018 During the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries, sailors stopping in the area brought with them black rats, which colonized about two thirds of the islands, decimating seabird populations. Jason Daley, Smithsonian, "Coral Reefs Need Fewer Rats and More Bird Poo," 12 July 2018 The mystical Pepperland is under assault from the Blue Meanies, and an aging sailor sets off in his yellow submarine (based on a pre-existing song with Ringo singing lead) to get help. Jordan Hoffman, New York Times, "Where to Stream the Best, and the Most Ridiculous, of the Beatles on Film," 9 July 2018

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

1577, in the meaning defined at sense 1a

History and Etymology for sailor

alteration of sailer

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Phrases Related to sailor

sailor suit

Statistics for sailor

Last Updated

21 Sep 2018

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for sailor

The first known use of sailor was in 1577

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More Definitions for sailor



English Language Learners Definition of sailor

: a person who works on a boat or ship as part of the crew

: someone who controls a boat or ship that has sails


sail·or | \ ˈsā-lər \

Kids Definition of sailor

: a person who works on or controls a boat or ship as part of the crew

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Comments on sailor

What made you want to look up sailor? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


occurring twice a year or every two years

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