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 Russell also recalled that the Herald received a letter from a seaman who said a shipmate of his was onshore the night of the murder and returned to the ship with bloody clothes. Katya Cengel, Smithsonian Magazine, 22 June 2021 Was this middle-sized fellow in a seaman’s cap courting her? Cynthia Ozick, The New Yorker, 14 June 2021 As a young seaman, other sailors had called him racial slurs. Diana Marcum, Los Angeles Times, 7 June 2021 Jerry Boylan is already facing federal criminal charges and pleaded not guilty last month to 34 counts of seaman’s manslaughter and the criminal investigation remains open. Richard Winton, Los Angeles Times, 11 Mar. 2021 Bill Smith was charged with seaman’s manslaughter in connection with the 2015 death of a crewmate who jumped overboard after the two had been in a fight, according to the paper. Michael Ruiz, Fox News, 27 Mar. 2021 The clay figures started making their way back to Salem in the early 18th century, packed in duffle bags by merchant seaman who bought them in Indian markets as tourist tchotchke. Murray Whyte,, 14 Jan. 2021 Each charge of the seaman's manslaughter carries a maximum penalty of 10 years in federal prison. Jessica Flores, USA TODAY, 3 Dec. 2020 The captain of a California scuba diving boat that caught fire and sank last year in one of the deadliest maritime disasters in recent U.S. history was indicted Tuesday on 34 counts of federal seaman’s manslaughter. Jessica Flores, USA TODAY, 3 Dec. 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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Time Traveler for seaman

Time Traveler

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

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Statistics for seaman

Last Updated

5 Jul 2021

Cite this Entry

“Seaman.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 27 Jul. 2021.

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More Definitions for seaman



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 : an experienced sailor
2 : an enlisted person in the navy or coast guard ranking above a seaman apprentice

More from Merriam-Webster on seaman

Nglish: Translation of seaman for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of seaman for Arabic Speakers Encyclopedia article about seaman


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