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
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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
Sail through our rogue's gallery of worthy sea and space pirates, and list your favorite buccaneers in the comments below.
Romantic notions of sabers, swashbucklers, and an exciting life at sea belie the truth of those ancient buccaneers.
The status of buccaneers as pirates or privateers was ambiguous.
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