Definition of piracy in English:

piracy

Syllabification: pi·ra·cy
Pronunciation: /ˈpīrəsē
 
/

noun

  • 1The practice of attacking and robbing ships at sea.
    More example sentences
    • Recent examples of Somalian piracy includes raids on ships carrying supplies for the UN World Food Programme.
    • Koizumi told reporters that many incidents of piracy have occurred despite shipping companies' own efforts to protect themselves.
    • She couldn't possibly wear it often, and much less know about ships and piracy.
    Synonyms
    freebooting, robbery at sea
    archaic buccaneering
  • 1.1A practice similar to piracy but in other contexts, especially hijacking: air piracy
    More example sentences
    • The topic was the arming of airline pilots as a defense against air piracy and terrorism.
    • Nevertheless, Mr. Critton's act of air piracy is very much the context of the crimes for which he is to be sentenced.
    • On May 17, a West German court convicted Mohammad Ali Hamadei of murder and air piracy and sentenced him to life imprisonment.
  • 1.2The unauthorized use or reproduction of another’s work: software piracy
    More example sentences
    • Preston also sought the hack printers who actually produced the piracies.
    • Willetts therefore argued that, far from destroying an industry, his piracies had no significant effect at all on existing publishers' sales.
    • Newton learned to exploit the commercial press by secretly publishing his works and disowning them as piracies.
    Synonyms
    illegal copying, plagiarism, copyright infringement, bootlegging

Origin

mid 16th century: via medieval Latin from Greek pirateia, from peiratēs (see pirate).

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