- a person who robs or commits illegal violence at sea or on the shores of the sea.
- a ship used by such persons.
- any plunderer, predator, etc.: confidence men, slumlords, and other pirates.
- a person who uses or reproduces the work or invention of another without authorization.
- Also called pirate stream. Geology. a stream that diverts into its own flow the headwaters of another stream, river, etc.
- to commit or practice piracy.
Origin of pirate
SynonymsSee more synonyms on Thesaurus.com
Examples from the Web for piratical
As for the deer-fly, and others of his piratical breed, he will bite like a dog at any time.The Forest
Stewart Edward White
If I tell the truth, they will be seized as piratical plunder.The Frozen Pirate
W. Clark Russell
She wuz ther most piratical craft in petticoats wot I ever seen!
Again we were told that the piratical Serbs had seized the town of Alessio.The Birth of Yugoslavia, Volume 2
No tidings could be gained either of the brig or the fleet of piratical junks.The Three Midshipmen
- a person who commits piracy
- a vessel used by pirates
- (as modifier)a pirate ship
- a person who illicitly uses or appropriates someone else's literary, artistic, or other work
- a person or group of people who broadcast illegally
- (as modifier)a pirate radio station
- (tr) to use, appropriate, or reproduce (artistic work, ideas, etc) illicitly
Word Origin and History for piratical
c.1300 (mid-13c. as a surname), from Latin pirata "sailor, corsair, sea robber" (source of Spanish, Italian pirata, Dutch piraat, German Pirat), literally "one who attacks (ships)," from Greek peirates "brigand, pirate," literally "one who attacks," from peiran "to attack, make a hostile attempt on, try," from peira "trial, an attempt, attack," from PIE root *per- "try" (cf. Latin peritus "experienced," periculum "trial, experiment; attempt on or against; enterprise;" see peril). An Old English word for it was sæsceaða. Meaning "one who takes another's work without permission" first recorded 1701; sense of "unlicensed radio broadcaster" is from 1913.
1570s, from pirate (n.). Related: Pirated; pirating.