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[pahy-ruh-see] /ˈpaɪ rə si/
noun, plural piracies.
practice of a pirate; robbery or illegal violence at sea.
the unauthorized reproduction or use of a copyrighted book, recording, television program, patented invention, trademarked product, etc.:
The record industry is beset with piracy.
Also called stream capture. Geology. diversion of the upper part of one stream by the headward growth of another.
Origin of piracy
1545-55; earlier pyracie < Medieval Latin pīrātīa < Late Greek peirāteía. See pirate, -acy
Related forms
antipiracy, noun, plural antipiracies, adjective Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the web for piracy
  • The only way to ameliorate this problem is to control piracy from land.
  • But the technology to prevent piracy may not even work and could cost universities hundreds of thousands of dollars, critics say.
  • It also explains why online music piracy may at last be in decline.
  • Translate what you've learned about counterfeiting and piracy into a fact sheet alerting other kids to the problem.
  • And this estimate does not even include the revenues made by illegal copying and other forms of piracy.
  • If e-textbooks catch on, however, publishers may see a rise in online piracy.
  • Some musicians try to halt online piracy by turning to lawyers.
  • Now, whether attacking these ships on the high seas is piracy or not is definitely an open question.
  • Fueled by high prices and weak law enforcement, piracy is ingrained in the culture.
  • The heavy metal artists are the first musicians to sue the software maker and universities for enabling music piracy.
British Dictionary definitions for piracy


noun (pl) -cies
(Brit) robbery on the seas within admiralty jurisdiction
a felony, such as robbery or hijacking, committed aboard a ship or aircraft
the unauthorized use or appropriation of patented or copyrighted material, ideas, etc
Word Origin
C16: from Anglo-Latin pirātia, from Late Greek peirāteia; see pirate
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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Word Origin and History for piracy

early 15c., from Medieval Latin piratia, from Greek peirateia "piracy," from peirates (see pirate (n.)).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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piracy in Technology
The Free On-line Dictionary of Computing, © Denis Howe 2010
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