- a person who robs or commits illegal violence at sea or on the shores of the sea.
- a ship used by such persons.
- any plunderer, predator, etc.: confidence men, slumlords, and other pirates.
- a person who uses or reproduces the work or invention of another without authorization.
- Also called pirate stream. Geology. a stream that diverts into its own flow the headwaters of another stream, river, etc.
- to commit or practice piracy.
Origin of pirate
SynonymsSee more synonyms for pirate on Thesaurus.com
Examples from the Web for pirating
People said he'd been a pirating off there in South Ameriky.Oldtown Fireside Stories
Harriet Beecher Stowe
He'll catch them, I'm thinking, and they'll come to a pirate's end—that's all the pirating they'll get.Prisoners of Hope
As he had truly said, this pirating was no trade for a nervous man.Blackbeard: Buccaneer
Ralph D. Paine
They are pirating the bill as well as the play here, everywhere.The Letters of Charles Dickens
Certain printers, however, made a practice of pirating some of the most popular English privileged books.Prices of Books
Henry B. Wheatley
- a person who commits piracy
- a vessel used by pirates
- (as modifier)a pirate ship
- 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
- (tr) to use, appropriate, or reproduce (artistic work, ideas, etc) illicitly
Word Origin and History for pirating
c.1300 (mid-13c. as a surname), from Latin pirata "sailor, corsair, sea robber" (source of Spanish, Italian pirata, Dutch piraat, German Pirat), literally "one who attacks (ships)," from Greek peirates "brigand, pirate," literally "one who attacks," from peiran "to attack, make a hostile attempt on, try," from peira "trial, an attempt, attack," from PIE root *per- "try" (cf. Latin peritus "experienced," periculum "trial, experiment; attempt on or against; enterprise;" see peril). An Old English word for it was sæsceaða. Meaning "one who takes another's work without permission" first recorded 1701; sense of "unlicensed radio broadcaster" is from 1913.
1570s, from pirate (n.). Related: Pirated; pirating.