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letter of marque

noun
1.
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
late Middle English
1400-1450
1400-50; late Middle English
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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British Dictionary definitions for letters of marque reprisal

letter of marque

noun
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
Also called letter of marque and reprisal
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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