sea·​man | \ ˈsē-mən How to pronounce seaman (audio) \

Definition of seaman

2a : any of the three ranks below petty officer in the navy or coast guard
b : an enlisted man in the navy or coast guard ranking above a seaman apprentice and below a petty officer

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Examples of seaman in a Sentence

a weathered old seaman who now captains a tour boat
Recent Examples on the Web An extremely ill Russian seaman had been admitted to University Hospital and was in need of someone who spoke his language. Michael Dumas, al, "‘Kaz’ Zaremba lived a life in service of knowledge and compassion," 12 June 2020 In February 1937, Mills began working part-time as a seaman with the Merchant Marine, and that position led to a lifetime career. Don Maines, Houston Chronicle, "Nearing age 100, Pearland man wonders when change is going to come," 11 June 2020 Soon, seamen ushered the crew aboard the aircraft carrier Iwo Jima. Eric Berger & Lee Hutchinson, Ars Technica, "The Greatest Leap, part 5: Saving the crew of Apollo 13," 11 Apr. 2020 In the trailer released Tuesday, the seamen appear to fight against the merciless forces of nature while also growing weary of one another. Zoya Ansari And Brian Ries, CNN, "'The Lighthouse' trailer shows Willem Dafoe and Robert Pattinson's creepy descent into madness," 30 July 2019 The 100-year-old law was passed to allow widows of seamen to recover wages, maritime lawyer Jim Walker of Miami said Thursday. NBC News, "Old maritime rules pose obstacles to lawsuits from Princess Cruise passengers," 10 Mar. 2020 Some of the relatives of the 14 seamen stayed on at the cemetery plot, putting up candles or sharing a moment of silence with friends and family. Fox News, "Russian seamen who died in mysterious navy submarine accident are buried," 7 July 2019 Under the Jones Act, a seaman may sue employers for negligence. Eriq Gardner, The Hollywood Reporter, "Hollywood Docket: When Can It Be Negligent to Film a Health Tragedy?," 13 Mar. 2020 Monthly salaries can range from as little as $400 for trainees to $1,000 for junior seamen and around $10,000 for captains. New York Times, "Trapped at Sea by Covid-19 Lockdowns, Crew Members Plead for Help," 25 Mar. 2020

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

before the 12th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

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The first known use of seaman was before the 12th century

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Last Updated

22 Jun 2020

Cite this Entry

“Seaman.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 11 Aug. 2020.

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More Definitions for seaman


How to pronounce seaman (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of seaman

: an experienced sailor
: a sailor in the U.S. or British Navy or the U.S. Coast Guard who is not an officer


sea·​man | \ ˈsē-mən How to pronounce seaman (audio) \
plural seamen\ -​mən \

Kids Definition of seaman

1 : a person who helps in the handling of a ship at sea : sailor
2 : an enlisted person in the navy or coast guard ranking above a seaman apprentice

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