[ prahy-vuh-teer ]
/ ˌpraɪ vəˈtɪər /


an armed ship that is privately owned and manned, commissioned by a government to fight or harass enemy ships.

verb (used without object)

to cruise as a privateer.

Origin of privateer

1640–50; private + -eer, modeled on volunteer Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for privateer

British Dictionary definitions for privateer

/ (ˌpraɪvəˈtɪə) /


an armed, privately owned vessel commissioned for war service by a government
Also called: privateersman a commander or member of the crew of a privateer


a competitor, esp in motor racing, who is privately financed rather than sponsored by a manufacturer
(intr) to serve as a privateer
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