[ pahy-ruht ]
See synonyms for: piratepiratedpiratespirating on Thesaurus.com

  1. a person who robs or commits illegal violence at sea or on the shores of the sea.

  2. a ship used by such persons.

  1. any plunderer, predator, etc.: confidence men, slumlords, and other pirates.

  2. a person who uses or reproduces the work or invention of another without authorization.

  3. Also called pirate stream .Geology. a stream that diverts into its own flow the headwaters of another stream, river, etc.

verb (used with object),pi·rat·ed, pi·rat·ing.
  1. to commit piracy upon; plunder; rob.

  2. to take by piracy: to pirate gold.

  1. to use or reproduce (a book, an invention, etc.) without authorization or legal right: to pirate hit records.

  2. to take or entice away for one's own use: Our competitor is trying to pirate our best salesman.

verb (used without object),pi·rat·ed, pi·rat·ing.
  1. to commit or practice piracy.

Origin of pirate

1250–1300; Middle English <Latin pīrāta<Greek peirātḗs, equivalent to peirā-, variant stem of peirân to attack + -tēs agent noun suffix

Other words for pirate

Other words from pirate

  • pi·rate·like, adjective
  • pi·rat·i·cal [pahy-rat-i-kuhl, pi-], /paɪˈræt ɪ kəl, pɪ-/, pi·rat·ic, adjective
  • pi·rat·i·cal·ly, adverb
  • un·pi·rat·ed, adjective
  • un·pi·rat·i·cal, adjective
  • un·pi·rat·i·cal·ly, adverb

Words Nearby pirate

Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2024

How to use pirate in a sentence

British Dictionary definitions for pirate


/ (ˈpaɪrɪt) /

  1. a person who commits piracy

    • a vessel used by pirates

    • (as modifier): a pirate ship

  1. 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

  1. (tr) to use, appropriate, or reproduce (artistic work, ideas, etc) illicitly

Origin of pirate

C15: from Latin pīrāta, from Greek peirātēs one who attacks, from peira an attempt, attack

Derived forms of pirate

  • piratical (paɪˈrætɪkəl) or piratic, adjective
  • piratically, 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