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

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 The crash killed 10 sailors and injured 48 aboard the McCain. Andrew Liptak, The Verge, "The US Navy will replace the touchscreen controls with mechanical ones on its destroyers," 11 Aug. 2019 Not long after, an Iraqi fighter jet fired two missiles at the Stark, killing 37 sailors. Helene Cooper, New York Times, "Will Trump’s Plans to Counter Iran Bring a Return of the ‘Tanker War’?," 28 June 2019 He is believed to have been involved in a torpedo attack that sank the South Korean warship Cheonan in 2010, killing 46 South Korean sailors. Nicole Gaouette, CNN, "North Korean ex-spy chief arrives in US for Pompeo meeting," 30 May 2018 Seventeen sailors were killed, 39 others were injured, and the destroyer was knocked out of service for more than a year of repairs. The Atlantic, "Coming Soon to a Battlefield: Robots That Can Kill," 3 Sep. 2019 So Elliot Charles Adnopoz became Jack Elliott and then Ramblin' Jack Elliott, a singer and songwriter and rambler and sailor and folk music legend. Andrew Dansby, Houston Chronicle, "Folk legend Jack Elliott rambles onto the big screen and into town," 3 Sep. 2019 In addition to Timmy, there were nine other families who lost sailors in that accident. Jon Kelvey,, "Fallen Manchester sailor remembered with fundraising event, commemorative beer from Monument City Brewing," 30 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

21 Sep 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

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miscellaneous remnants or debris

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