letter of marque

Also letters of marque.

Origin of letter of marque

late Middle English word dating back to 1400–50
Also called letter of marque and reprisal, letters of marque and reprisal.
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Examples from the Web for letter of marque

Historical Examples of letter of marque

  • Shortly afterward the Milford, accompanied by a British letter-of-marque, put in an appearance, and gave chase.

    The Story of John Paul Jones

    Chelsea Curtis Fraser

  • The ship fell in with an American letter-of-marque, and the first lieutenant was ordered to board the American ship.

    Historic Boyhoods

    Rupert Sargent Holland

  • In that day, even a French ship-of-the-line was no model of discipline or order, and a letter-of-marque was consequently worse.

    Afloat And Ashore

    James Fenimore Cooper

  • The prize proved to be the ship I have mentioned, a letter-of-marque, from Guadaloupe, bound to Nantes.

    Afloat And Ashore

    James Fenimore Cooper

  • Well, as if that wern't enough, we ship together again in this vessel, and a time we had of it with the French letter-of-marque.

    Afloat And Ashore

    James Fenimore Cooper


British Dictionary definitions for letter of marque

letter of marque

letters of marque

noun
  1. a licence granted by a state to a private citizen to arm a ship and seize merchant vessels of another nation
  2. a similar licence issued by a nation allowing a private citizen to seize goods or citizens of another nation
Also called: letter of marque and reprisal
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