buccaneer

[buhk-uh-neer]
noun
1.
any of the piratical adventurers who raided Spanish colonies and ships along the American coast in the second half of the 17th century.
2.
any pirate.

Origin:
1655–65; < French boucanier, literally, barbecuer, equivalent to boucan barbecue (< Tupi, variant of mukém) + -ier -eer

buccaneerish, adjective
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World English Dictionary
buccaneer (ˌbʌkəˈnɪə)
 
n
1.  a pirate, esp one who preyed on the Spanish colonies and shipping in America and the Caribbean in the 17th and 18th centuries
 
vb
2.  to be or act like a buccaneer
 
[C17: from French boucanier, from boucaner to smoke meat, from Old French boucan frame for smoking meat, of Tupian origin; originally applied to French and English hunters of wild oxen in the Caribbean]

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 10th Edition
2009 © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
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Etymonline
Word Origin & History

buccaneer
1660s, from Fr. boucanier "user of a boucan," a native grill for roasting meat, from Tupi mukem (rendered in Port. as moquem c.1587): "initial b and m are interchangeable in the Tupi language" [Klein]. For Haitian variant barbacoa, see barbecue. Originally used of French
settlers working as hunters and woodsmen in the Spanish West Indies, a lawless and piratical set after they were driven from their trade by Spanish authorities in the 1690s.
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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Example sentences for buccaneer
The term buccaneer is now used generally as a synonym for pirate.
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