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merchant marine

the vessels of a nation that are engaged in commerce.
the officers and crews of such vessels.
Origin of merchant marine
1850-55, Americanism Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Historical Examples
  • The race of our merchant-marine captains disappeared with their ships, and they will return no more.

    Hawthorne and His Circle Julian Hawthorne
  • Several German merchant-marine companies, notably the Kosmos, plied along the Chilian coast.

  • So he rose to the highest rank in the merchant-marine, and was respected almost to idolatry by all on board the Vulcan.

  • But New York had taken rapid strides in her merchant-marine.

    A Little Girl of Long Ago Amanda Millie Douglas

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