letters marque

letter of marque

noun
license or commission granted by a state to a private citizen to capture and confiscate the merchant ships of another nation.
Also, letters of marque.
Also called letter of marque and reprisal, letters of marque and reprisal.


Origin:
1400–50; late Middle English

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letter of marque or letters of marque
 
n
1.  a licence granted by a state to a private citizen to arm a ship and seize merchant vessels of another nation
2.  a similar licence issued by a nation allowing a private citizen to seize goods or citizens of another nation
 
letters of marque or letters of marque
 
n

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