buccaneer

[buhk-uh-neer]

noun

any of the piratical adventurers who raided Spanish colonies and ships along the American coast in the second half of the 17th century.
any pirate.

Origin of buccaneer

1655–65; < French boucanier, literally, barbecuer, equivalent to boucan barbecue (< Tupi, variant of mukém) + -ier -eer
Related formsbuc·ca·neer·ish, adjective
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Related Words for buccaneer

rover, corsair, pirate, viking, spoiler, freebooter

Examples from the Web for buccaneer

Contemporary Examples of buccaneer

  • As a politician, Sarkozy is as brutal as any buccaneer, and he lets the world see it.

    The Daily Beast logo
    The Gunslinger of Rue Miromesnil

    Christopher Dickey

    December 23, 2013

  • A buccaneer lives for the excitement of deciphering the mysteries of human experience.

    The Daily Beast logo
    The Self-Educated Apple Genius

    James Marcus Bach

    September 13, 2009

  • A buccaneer wants status, too, but only if that status is justly earned and sustained through the quality of his work.

    The Daily Beast logo
    The Self-Educated Apple Genius

    James Marcus Bach

    September 13, 2009

Historical Examples of buccaneer

  • A pretty thing if we were snapped up by a buccaneer and sold in the Plantations!'

    Micah Clarke

    Arthur Conan Doyle

  • It was a fame such as no buccaneer—not even Morgan—has ever boasted, before or since.

    Captain Blood

    Rafael Sabatini

  • With these he thought he could keep the buccaneer contingent in order and submissive.

    Captain Blood

    Rafael Sabatini

  • My buccaneer transforms himself, under my very eyes, into an alderman!

    The Market-Place

    Harold Frederic

  • Drake was a very great sailor, but he was undoubtedly a buccaneer.


British Dictionary definitions for buccaneer

buccaneer

noun

a pirate, esp one who preyed on the Spanish colonies and shipping in America and the Caribbean in the 17th and 18th centuries

verb (intr)

to be or act like a buccaneer

Word Origin for buccaneer

C17: from French boucanier, from boucaner to smoke meat, from Old French boucan frame for smoking meat, of Tupian origin; originally applied to French and English hunters of wild oxen in the Caribbean
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 buccaneer
n.

1660s, from French boucanier "user of a boucan," a native grill for roasting meat, from Tupi mukem (rendered in Portuguese as moquem c.1587): "initial b and m are interchangeable in the Tupi language" [Klein]. For Haitian variant barbacoa, see barbecue. Originally used of French settlers working as hunters and woodsmen in the Spanish West Indies, a lawless and piratical set after they were driven from their trade by Spanish authorities in the 1690s.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper