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Definition of "privateer" [pri•va•teer]

  • A ship privately owned and crewed but authorized by a government during wartime to attack and capture enemy vessels. (noun)
  • The commander or one of the crew of such a ship. (noun)
  • To sail as a privateer. (verb-intransitive)

American Heritage(R) Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition. Copyright (c) 2011 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.

Use "privateer" in a sentence
  • "Almost at once news came of war being declared between England and France with Spain, so Bonnet hurried back to Topsail, and was granted permission to take back his sloop and sail her to St. Thomas's Island, to receive a commission as a privateer from the French Governor of that island."
  • "A Confederate privateer is reported sixty miles south-east of Sandy"
  • "It is during this time that the term privateer and the term pirate become blurred together."