corsair

[kawr-sair]
noun
1.
a fast ship used for piracy.
2.
a pirate, especially formerly of the Barbary Coast.
3.
(initial capital letter) Military. a gull-winged, propeller-driven fighter plane built for the U.S. Navy in World War II and kept in service into the early 1950s.

Origin:
1540–50; < Middle French corsaire < Provençal corsar(i) < Upper Italian corsaro < Medieval Latin cursārius, equivalent to Latin curs(us) course + -ārius -ary

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World English Dictionary
corsair (ˈkɔːsɛə)
 
n
1.  a pirate
2.  a privateer, esp of the Barbary Coast
 
[C15: from Old French corsaire pirate, from Medieval Latin cursārius, from Latin cursus a running, course]

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Word Origin & History

corsair
1549, from Fr. corsaire, from Prov. cursar, It. corsaro, from M.L. cursarius "pirate," from L. cursus "course, a running," from currere "to run" (see current). Meaning evolved in M.L. from "course" to "journey" to "expedition" to an expedition specifically for plunder.
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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