View synonyms for privateer


[ prahy-vuh-teer ]


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

verb (used without object)

  1. to cruise as a privateer.


/ ˌpraɪvəˈtɪə /


  1. an armed, privately owned vessel commissioned for war service by a government
  2. Also calledprivateersman a commander or member of the crew of a privateer


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

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Word History and Origins

Origin of privateer1

1640–50; private + -eer, modeled on volunteer

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Example Sentences

The Uncharted video game franchise, which now has seven iterations, began in 2007 with a plotline centered on a man named Nathan “Nate” Drake who claims to be a descendant of privateer Sir Francis Drake.

He fought as a privateer in the Revolutionary War as a teenager and was captured by a British ship.

From Time

Not content to only heli-ski in Alaska’s short season from mid-February through April, Harms became a privateer, founding what would become Third Edge Heli with Clark Fyans in 2007.

Check out Privateer Holdings, a venture-capital firm based in Seattle that is about to close on $7 million in funding.

One of her courtiers bet that Clark Gable as Rhett Butler would be her ideal, “a privateer, a romantic, and a fabulous cad.”

This heritage has so influenced his cuisine that Roellinger is often referred to as "the privateer chef."

Countless dogs fought under the feet of passers-by, and over all leered the sardonic face of Jean Bart, pirate and privateer.

The scheme was not impossible for any one holding a privateer's commission, and I applied to Mr. Yancey for a letter-of-marque.

Two days afterward he came upon a British privateer, which was on the hunt for American vessels.

Soon after he had some lively service in the Wasp, and captured a British privateer with the little sloop Sachem.

But the privateer captain had seen the fate of the General Monk and concluded that he had business elsewhere.


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