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

The maritime officials handled the imaginary rescue of a merchant seaman who fell overboard from a cargo ship deck off the north Australian coast near the city of Darwin. Washington Post, "Australia boosts Indian Ocean travel safety after MH370," 21 Feb. 2018 The passion for fairness and justice extended to our own military when a private was poorly seaman was overworked in terrible conditions, John enjoyed nothing more than dressing down an admiral or a general. Lauren Hubbard, Town & Country, "Read the Full Transcript of George W. Bush's Eulogy for John McCain," 1 Sep. 2018 In the 19th century, soldiers and seamen were just as likely to die from malnutrition as from battle, until canning was developed by the French chef Nicholas Appert. Nicola Temple, WSJ, "Give Processed Food a Break," 4 May 2018 Finn was assigned to the Navy’s V-12 College Training Program as an apprentice seaman, with the possibility of finishing his engineering training with a bachelor of science degree. Paul Wood, The Seattle Times, "EXCHANGE: Veteran talks about building during wartime," 20 Apr. 2018 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

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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Statistics for seaman

Last Updated

16 Dec 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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More from Merriam-Webster on seaman

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with seaman

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for seaman

Spanish Central: Translation of seaman

Nglish: Translation of seaman for Spanish Speakers

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

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