sea·man | \ˈsē-mən \

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

Having been recently abandoned by a longtime lover, Candy picks up a merchant seaman in a gay bar with the hopes of establishing a new relationship. Theodore P. Mahne,, "Southern Rep's bill of lesser Tennessee Williams holds limited appeal," 27 Mar. 2018 But Essemlali isn't so sure that the seamen are blameless. Amanda Erickson, Washington Post, "Seals are being killed in northern France, and no one knows why," 13 May 2018 The island also served other purposes: an internment station for German merchant seamen during World War I, and as the site of a health experiment gone tragically awry in 1918. Brian Macquarrie,, "Winter weather helped uncover a dark past on Gallops Island," 3 May 2018 His truck-driver father, however, was less than encouraging of his son's intellectual pursuits, so young Lolis ended up as a merchant seaman. Mike Scott,, "For decades, he fought for one thing: basic human dignity," 17 Apr. 2018 Before long, merchants, engineers, travel agents, and seamen took the new pastime abroad, founding the first soccer clubs in Germany, Spain, France, Argentina, and Russia. Leo Robson, The New Yorker, "How We Watch Soccer Now," 5 Dec. 2016 Officers were demoted or sacked and sent home, and seamen flogged with depressing regularity. Erik Lacitis, The Seattle Times, "‘All indulged’: Puget Sound’s wildest Fourth of July party was its first one — in 1841," 3 July 2018 But many of the seamen taken hostage by Somali pirates have at least been set free fast, once fat ransoms have been paid. The Economist, "A new approach to Somali pirates frees more hostages," 28 June 2018 In the Persian Gulf, the USS Stark had been hit by a missile, killing 37 seamen. Karina Bland, azcentral, "We're looking for hope, and we see it in the faces of the rescued boys in Thailand," 9 July 2018

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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Phrases Related to seaman

merchant seaman

Statistics for seaman

Last Updated

7 Oct 2018

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Time Traveler for seaman

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

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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 \
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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