- 1 • historical An armed ship owned and crewed by private individuals holding a government commission and authorized for use in war, especially in the capture of merchant shipping: she was captured by a French 44-gun privateerMore example sentences
- The US navy also took 50 merchant ships, while privateers took a further 450.
- The basis for the story is that in February 1704, William Dampier, a noted British buccaneer and navigator, arrived at Juan Fernandez with two ships, both licensed privateers.
- Great names are associated with the privateers and the ships that sailed the waters off the south coast of Ireland including the name of the great John Paul Jones.
- 1.1A commander or crew member of a privateer, often regarded as a pirate: Francis Drake disliked other privateers poaching prizes he regarded as his ownMore example sentences
- The difference between pirates and privateers was that the pirates were simply sea robbers who captured or looted ships at sea for plunder, without authority.
- However, American neutral shipping suffered grievous losses at the hands of the Royal Navy and French privateers.
- Nearly all the slaves were brought to Bermuda from the West Indies or as slaves on ships captured by Bermuda privateers.
- 2An advocate or exponent of private enterprise: it may be instructive to compare the supposedly wasteful public sector with the supposedly lean privateersMore example sentences
- The executive of the Scottish Parliament is handing another £100 million of public money over to privateers to ensure the privatisation of Glasgow's council housing goes ahead.
- But before politicians get too excited, it may be instructive to compare the supposedly wasteful public sector with the supposedly lean privateers.
- There is a danger that London Underground or the privateers who are due to take over will go to court to try and stop the strike ballot.
- 3 Motor Racing A competitor who races as a private individual rather than as a member of a team: he finished top privateer in the world championshipsMore example sentences
- The starting lineup for every event includes both factory and privateer racing teams competing for overall wins as well as wins in one of four classes of competition.
- Jeannette, 21, is no stranger to racing Panoz cars, having driven for Panoz Motor Sports in 2002 and for the privateer JML Team Panoz in 2003.
- Though a privateer racing effort, Krohn-Barbour Racing will be officially affiliated with the Lamborghini factory.
- More example sentences
- Much is made of a claim that the growth of St Peter Port was based on privateering rather than trade, but such an interpretation is not especially new.
- Piracy against the ships of a hostile nation was perfectly legal - privateering, as it was called, was a lucrative industry.
- In part, English success in penetrating Mediterranean markets was due to the prevalence of war and privateering.
mid 17th century: from private, on the pattern of volunteer.
More definitions of privateerDefinition of privateer in:
- The US English dictionary