sail·​or | \ ˈsā-lər How to pronounce sailor (audio) \

Definition of sailor

1a : one that sails especially : mariner
b(1) : a member of a ship's crew
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

Americans should never, ever, ever fear for their safety, because the people playing the away game — soldiers, sailors, airmen, Marines, and Coast Guard — are the best this country produces., "John Bolton’s departure," 16 Sep. 2019 Their male counterparts, the sailors, also professionally tap their cares away in several numbers to the delight of the audience. Joanne Engelhardt, The Mercury News, "On Stage: Acting performances standout in ‘Anything Goes’," 12 Sep. 2019 Soldiers, sailors and Marines who roamed the streets of Los Angeles on June 7, 1943, looking for Mexicans in zoot suits, stopped this streetcar during their search. Paloma Esquivelstaff Writer, Los Angeles Times, "El Paso massacre was just the latest in long line of anti-Latino violence in the U.S.," 16 Aug. 2019 The games typically feature some fairly realistic competitions, where soldiers, sailors, and airmen are graded on their ability to skillfully complete tasks in a set amount of time. Kyle Mizokami, Popular Mechanics, "Watch a Tank Get Some Serious Air During Russia's Army Olympics," 8 Aug. 2019 Cubic’s third business arm, which provides training technologies for pilots, soldiers and sailors, saw a slight reduction in revenue for the quarter due to the timing of certain international contracts. San Diego Union-Tribune, "Cubic’s shares jump 8 percent on solid June quarter," 7 Aug. 2019 MPI—Getty Images Six years later, on two fateful days in August 1945, the bombs known as Little Man and Fat Boy were dropped on Hiroshima and Nagasaki, Japan – on soldiers, sailors, women and children alike. Trevor Lipscombe, Time, "Einstein Feared a Nazi Atom Bomb—But Immigrants Made Sure the U.S. Got There First," 2 Aug. 2019 In 2000, al-Qaeda bombed the USS Cole in Aden harbor, killing 17 U.S. sailors. Washington Post, "Six reasons the crisis in Yemen’s south matters," 30 Aug. 2019 Last month, concerns of a Chernobyl-style incident at sea were stoked when a nuclear submarine operating out of Severomorsk suffered a fire, killing 14 sailors. NBC News, "Russia's 'floating Chernobyl' nuclear plant begins voyage north," 23 Aug. 2019

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

5 Oct 2019

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 How to pronounce sailor (audio) \

Kids Definition of sailor

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

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More from Merriam-Webster on sailor

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with sailor

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for sailor

Spanish Central: Translation of sailor

Nglish: Translation of sailor for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of sailor for Arabic Speakers

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).


to fake an opponent out of position

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