[see-muh n]

noun, plural sea·men.

a person skilled in seamanship.
a person whose trade or occupation is assisting in the handling, sailing, and navigating of a ship during a voyage, especially one below the rank of officer; sailor.
U.S. Navy and Coast Guard. an enlisted person ranking below petty officer.

Origin of seaman

before 900; Middle English seeman, Old English sǣmann. See sea, man1
Related formssu·per·sea·man, noun, plural su·per·sea·men.

Synonyms for seaman

See sailor.


[see-muh n]


Elizabeth Coch·rane [kok-ruh n] /ˈkɒk rən/, original name of Nellie Bly. Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for seaman

Contemporary Examples of seaman

Historical Examples of seaman

  • Now this carpenter and seaman show themselves no doubt for what they are.

    Micah Clarke

    Arthur Conan Doyle

  • The seaman and travelers awaited their end with lamentations.

  • The wine was brought, and the captain filled the glasses with a seaman's heartiness.

    Homeward Bound

    James Fenimore Cooper

  • The mate called a seaman, and passed aft himself to execute the order.

    Homeward Bound

    James Fenimore Cooper

  • And, at this, I brought to and looked him up and down and answered him as a seaman should.

    The House Under the Sea

    Sir Max Pemberton

British Dictionary definitions for seaman


noun plural -men

a rating trained in seamanship as opposed to electrical engineering, etc
a man who serves as a sailor
a person skilled in seamanship
Derived Formsseaman-like, adjectiveseamanly, adjective, 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

Word Origin and History for seaman

"a sailor," Old English sæmanna (plural); see sea + man (n.). Cf. Dutch zeeman, German Seemann, Old Norse sjomaðr.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper