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pirate Line breaks: pir¦ate
Pronunciation: /ˈpʌɪrət/

Definition of pirate in English:


1A person who attacks and robs ships at sea: [as modifier]: a pirate ship
More 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.
marauder, raider
historical buccaneer, privateer
archaic corsair, rover, sea rover
rare picaroon, filibuster, sea thief, sea robber, water thief, sea wolf, sea rat, water rat, marooner
1.1A person who appropriates or reproduces the work of another for profit without permission, usually in contravention of patent or copyright: [as modifier]: pirate recordings
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 programmes 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] Back to top  
1 (often as adjective pirated) Use or reproduce (another’s work) for profit without permission, usually in contravention of patent or copyright: pirated tapes of Hollywood blockbusters
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.
reproduce illegally, infringe the copyright of, copy illegally, plagiarize, poach, steal, appropriate, bootleg
informal crib, lift, rip off
British informal nick, pinch
2 dated Rob or plunder (a ship): one of the ferry launches had been pirated while still in the harbour
More 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.


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’.



Pronunciation: /pʌɪˈratɪk/
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: /pʌɪˈratɪk(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: /pʌɪˈratɪk(ə)li/
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.

Words that rhyme with pirate

quadrat • accurate • indurate

Definition of pirate in:

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Pronunciation: fôrˈtisəˌmō
(especially as a direction) very loud or loudly