Definition of pirate in English:

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Pronunciation: /ˈpīrət/


1A person who attacks and robs ships at sea.
Example sentences
  • We are originally from Wales, you see, but we came from England and were sailing to Venezuela when pirates attacked our ship.
  • But immediately after, another group of pirates attacked the same ship.
  • Then together we will be the most fearsome pirates on the sea.
freebooter, marauder, raider
historical privateer
archaic buccaneer, corsair
1.1A person who appropriates or reproduces the work of another for profit without permission, usually in contravention of patent or copyright: software pirates
More example sentences
  • He rightly points out that China is only paying lip service to cracking down on counterfeiters and copyright pirates.
  • Here is bad news for Asian copyright pirates: Britain's criminal underworld has decided to go it alone.
  • Why should downloaders, freeloaders, pirates and copyright felons be entitled to the protection of the law?
copyright infringer, plagiarist, plagiarizer
1.2A person or organization that broadcasts radio or television programs without official authorization: [as modifier]: a pirate radio station
More example sentences
  • You got your start in radio as a pirate broadcaster.
  • Another search is also on, as it turns out that a pirate radio station is broadcasting from the glen.
  • A cascade of treasured memories come flooding back; my own upbringing taking in Soul Weekenders, warehouse parties, and stints as a pirate radio broadcaster.


[with object]
1 (often as adjective pirated) Use or reproduce (another’s work) for profit without permission, usually in contravention of patent or copyright: he sold pirated tapes of Hollywood blockbusters a competing company cannot pirate its intellectual achievements
More example sentences
  • The DMCA assumes that the only reason to do any of this work is to pirate copyrighted works.
  • Other people shouldn't be able to profit from your work by selling pirated editions: that was the whole point of copyright law.
  • There is no color to it, and it seems to have been mastered from an old VHS home video tape pirated from the front row.
steal, plagiarize, poach, copy illegally, reproduce illegally, appropriate, bootleg
informal crib, lift, rip off, pinch
2 dated Rob or plunder (a ship).
Example sentences
  • Then we are going to have to pirate every dead ship we come across for a long while.
  • It was interesting how he basically said that his ship was pirated by these people and that he was afraid.



Pronunciation: /pīˈratik/ Pronunciation: /pi-/
Example sentences
  • They are the problem in Mindanao because they have always been the aggressors, oppressors and colonizers, the inheritors of piratic colonialism.
  • People now can be hardcore ninja dwarves, or err towards the piratic side of elfdom.
  • His ship was accused of involvement in a piratic act in 1436, and he was personally accused of conspiring to hijack another ship, of which he later became the owner.


Pronunciation: /pīˈradək(ə)l/
Pronunciation: /pəˈradək(ə)l/
Example sentences
  • American directors (such as Raoul Walsh) sported piratical eye-patches and had difficulty with rolling tobacco.
  • But not just any ship, it needed to be fast enough to sail the seas undetected and yet fearsome enough to do justice to my stalwart piratical persona.
  • In those years the industry faced a piratical threat more serious than any before or - until recently - since.


Pronunciation: /pīˈratiklē/ Pronunciation: /pi-/
Example sentences
  • True, but his character called for it and he quite piratically steals the show.
  • The kitchen maids had piratically screamed the house down in their wake, calling out orders, arguing, spilling flour and milk, cleaning it up, and even crying.
  • In 1716 Curll piratically published some of her Town Eclogues and Court Poems; the Eclogues with other poems were republished in 1747.


Middle English: from Latin pirata, from Greek peiratēs, from peirein 'to attempt, attack' (from peira 'an attempt').

  • The key idea behind pirates is that they are people who attack you. It comes from Latin pirata, which went back to Greek peirein ‘to attempt, attack’.

For editors and proofreaders

Syllabification: pi·rate

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