from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

  • n. One who robs at sea or plunders the land from the sea without commission from a sovereign nation.
  • n. A ship used for this purpose.
  • n. One who preys on others; a plunderer.
  • n. One who makes use of or reproduces the work of another without authorization.
  • n. One that operates an unlicensed, illegal television or radio station.
  • transitive v. To attack and rob (a ship at sea).
  • transitive v. To take (something) by piracy.
  • transitive v. To make use of or reproduce (another's work) without authorization.
  • intransitive v. To act as a pirate; practice piracy.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. A criminal who plunders at sea; commonly attacking merchant vessels, though often pillaging port towns.
  • n. One who breaks intellectual property laws by reproducing protected works without permission
  • v. To appropriate by piracy, plunder at sea.
  • v. To create and/or sell an unauthorized copy of
  • v. To knowingly obtain an unauthorized copy of
  • v. To engage in piracy.
  • adj. Illegaly imitated or reproduced, said of a well-known trademarked product or work subject to copyright protection and the counterfeit itself.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • n. A robber on the high seas; one who by open violence takes the property of another on the high seas; especially, one who makes it his business to cruise for robbery or plunder; a freebooter on the seas; also, one who steals in a harbor.
  • n. An armed ship or vessel which sails without a legal commission, for the purpose of plundering other vessels on the high seas.
  • n. One who infringes the law of copyright, or publishes the work of an author without permission.
  • intransitive v. To play the pirate; to practice robbery on the high seas.
  • transitive v. To publish, as books or writings, without the permission of the author.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • To play the pirate; rob on the high seas.
  • To appropriate and reproduce the literary or artistic work of another without right or permission; specifically, to infringe on the copyright of another.
  • To commit piracy upon; play the pirate toward.
  • To appropriate and publish without permission or legal right, as books, writings, etc.; use or reproduce illegally.
  • n. One who without authority and by violence seizes or interferes with the ship or property of another on the sea; specifically, one who is habitually engaged in such robbery, or sails the seas for the robbery and plunder of merchant vessels; a freebooter or corsair; a sea-robber. See piracy.
  • n. An armed vessel which sails without a legal commission, for the purpose of plundering other vessels indiscriminately on the high seas.
  • n. A publisher, compiler, or bookseller who appropriates the literary or artistic labors of an author without compensation or permission; specifically, one who infringes on the copyright of another.
  • n. Any pirate-perch.
  • n. A stream that, by reason of its more favorable situation or its greater activity, encroaches upon the territory of a neigh-boring stream to such extent as to capture a part of its watercourse.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • n. someone who uses another person's words or ideas as if they were his own
  • v. take arbitrarily or by force
  • n. a ship that is manned by pirates
  • v. copy illegally; of published material
  • n. someone who robs at sea or plunders the land from the sea without having a commission from any sovereign nation


Middle English, from Old French, from Latin pīrāta, from Greek peirātēs, from peirān, to attempt, from peira, trial; see per-3 in Indo-European roots.
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
From Old French pirate, from Latin pirata, from Ancient Greek πειρατής (peiratēs), from πεῖρα (peira, "trial, attempt, plot"). (Wiktionary)



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