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

Another sailor in the Golden Globe Race, Irishman Gregor McGuckin, had also lost his mast on Friday near Tomy and would also be rescued, Gaden said. Rod Mcguirk, Fox News, "French boat to rescue injured Indian sailor from yacht," 24 Sep. 2018 Just 50 years ago, tattoos were incredibly rare — largely reserved for sailors, bikers, or ex-cons. Lexie Schapitl, Vox, "Tattooing is an ancient art form that’s more popular than ever," 1 Aug. 2018 Crossing the finish line at 1:17 a.m. Wednesday morning, Hinsdale resident Rick McLaren caught a few hours of sleep before greeting fellow sailors at dawn. Seth Schwartz,, "A Hinsdale man sailed solo from Chicago to Mackinac Island, Mich., for the 10th time," 29 June 2018 Since those 2015 exhumations, 138 sailors from the Oklahoma have been identified. Washington Post, "Sailors honor Pearl Harbor survivor during one last visit," 21 June 2018 The Merloe, expected to be one of the elite vessels in Friday's Newport to Ensenada International Yacht Race, took about 20 elementary- and middle school-age sailors from the Newport Harbor Yacht Club on tune-up runs around the harbor entrance. Hillary Davis,, "Junior sailors learn the ropes on big fast yacht as it preps for Newport to Ensenada race," 26 Apr. 2018 But every sailor in these plying the turbulent, murky waters can look to at least two steady, guiding stars. Alex Davies, WIRED, "SF Motors Brings the Latest Electric SUV to Challenge Tesla," 28 Mar. 2018 The Colorado is the first attack submarine where sailors use an Xbox controller to maneuver the photonics masts, which replaced periscopes, Koepp said. Jennifer Mcdermott,, "New Attack Sub Joins U.S. Navy Fleet Saturday In Groton Ceremony," 16 Mar. 2018 The photos, released by the U.S. Navy's Seventh Fleet based in Yokosuka, Japan show the Fitzgerald in drydock with sailors inspecting the damage. Kyle Mizokami, Popular Mechanics, "New Photos Reveal Extent of Damage to the USS Fitzgerald," 12 July 2017

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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Statistics for sailor

Last Updated

16 Nov 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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