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See more synonyms for freebooter on Thesaurus.com
  1. a person who goes about in search of plunder; pirate; buccaneer.
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Origin of freebooter

1560–70; Anglicization of Dutch vrijbuiter, equivalent to vrij free + buit booty1 + -er -er1
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Related Words for freebooter

bandit, looter, robber, raider, pirate, outlaw, thief, plunderer, corsair, buccaneer, freebooter, rover, privateer, marauder, filibuster, desperado, highwayman, soldier, pillager, footpad

Examples from the Web for freebooter

Historical Examples of freebooter

  • It was nothing—only the quip of a witty fellow, descendant of a Spanish freebooter.

    The Manxman

    Hall Caine

  • Nor was the freebooter's conversation more in accord with his surroundings.

    Red Cap Tales

    Samuel Rutherford Crockett

  • True, the law said it was his, but the law did not mean to reward the freebooter; yet that is exactly what it did.

  • He was a freebooter with most of the virtues and vices of his kind.

    Laramie Holds the Range

    Frank H. Spearman

  • He had the Viking spirit, and he burnt with a freebooter's passion for the sea.

    Sir Walter Ralegh

    William Stebbing

British Dictionary definitions for freebooter


  1. a person, such as a pirate, living from plunder
  2. informal a person, esp an itinerant, who seeks pleasure, wealth, etc, without responsibility
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Word Origin for freebooter

C16: from Dutch vrijbuiter, from vrijbuit booty; see filibuster
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 freebooter


1560s, loan-translation of Dutch vrijbuiter "plunderer, robber," from vrijbuiten "to rob, plunder," from vrijbuit "plunder," literally "free booty," from vrij "free" + buit "booty," from buiten "to exchange or plunder," from Middle Dutch buten, related to Middle Low German bute "exchange" (see booty). Cf. filibuster. The back-formed verb freeboot is recorded from 1590s.

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper