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[see-muh n]
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noun, plural sea·men.
  1. a person skilled in seamanship.
  2. a person whose trade or occupation is assisting in the handling, sailing, and navigating of a ship during a voyage, especially one below the rank of officer; sailor.
  3. U.S. Navy and Coast Guard. an enlisted person ranking below petty officer.

Origin of seaman

before 900; Middle English seeman, Old English sǣmann. See sea, man1
Related formssu·per·sea·man, noun, plural su·per·sea·men.


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See sailor.
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

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British Dictionary definitions for seamen


noun plural -men
  1. a rating trained in seamanship as opposed to electrical engineering, etc
  2. a man who serves as a sailor
  3. a person skilled in seamanship
Derived Formsseaman-like, adjectiveseamanly, adjective, adverb
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012

Word Origin and History for seamen



"a sailor," Old English sæmanna (plural); see sea + man (n.). Cf. Dutch zeeman, German Seemann, Old Norse sjomaðr.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper