Word of the Day

Saturday, August 31, 2013

corsair

\KAWR-sair\ , noun;
1.
a pirate, especially formerly of the Barbary Coast.
2.
a fast ship used for piracy.
3.
(initial capital letter) Military. a gull-winged, propeller-driven fighter plane built for the U.S. Navy in World War II and kept in service into the early 1950s.
Quotes:
The cassique of Kiawah is already known to us, and we may well conceive that he bore himself toward the little wife of the famous corsair with all proper kindliness.
-- William Glimore Simms, The Cassique of Kiawah: A Colonial Romance, 1859
We were five days at sea in the situation I have just described, and the captain entertained hopes of making the desired port in two days more, when a vessel was descried bearing down upon us, which proved to be an Algerine corsair
-- Francis Lathom, The Mysterious Freebooter, or The Days of Queen Bess, 1806
Origin:
Corsair came to English in the 16th century from the medieval Latin cursus meaning "hostile voyage."
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