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privateer

[prahy-vuh-teer] /ˌpraɪ vəˈtɪər/
noun
1.
an armed ship that is privately owned and manned, commissioned by a government to fight or harass enemy ships.
verb (used without object)
3.
to cruise as a privateer.
Origin
1640-1650
1640-50; private + -eer, modeled on volunteer
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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Examples from the web for privateering
  • The war was remarkable for the prominence of privateering on both sides.
  • Whaling, privateering, and the merchant trade were all pursued vigorously.
British Dictionary definitions for privateering

privateer

/ˌpraɪvəˈtɪə/
noun
1.
an armed, privately owned vessel commissioned for war service by a government
2.
Also called privateersman. a commander or member of the crew of a privateer
verb
3.
a competitor, esp in motor racing, who is privately financed rather than sponsored by a manufacturer
4.
(intransitive) to serve as a privateer
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 privateering

privateer

n.

1660s, "private man of war," from private (adj.), probably on model of volunteer, buccaneer.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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