Yarg, matey! A cartoon pirate wears an eye patch, three-cornered hat, billowy shirt, and tall black boots. In real life, a pirate just boards ships and robs them of cargo, valuables, and money, often while wearing regular boring clothes.

Pirates have been around since humans have been shipping valuable goods by boat across oceans. You can also use pirate as a verb to describe what these robbers do. Today, in addition to traditional pirates, there are pirates who use digital creative material, like books, movies, games, and music, without paying for it. If you pirate a movie, you make a copy and sell it illegally. The Greek root of pirate is peirates, "one who attacks."

Definitions of pirate
  1. noun
    someone who robs at sea or plunders the land from the sea without having a commission from any sovereign nation
    synonyms: buccaneer, sea robber, sea rover
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    Jean Laffite
    French pirate who aided the United States in the War of 1812 and received an official pardon for his crimes (1780-1826)
    Sir Henry Morgan
    a Welsh buccaneer who raided Spanish colonies in the West Indies for the English (1635-1688)
    Bartholomew Roberts
    a Welsh pirate credited with having taken more than 400 ships (1682-1722)
    Edward Thatch
    an English pirate who operated in the Caribbean and off the Atlantic coast of North America (died in 1718)
    Barbary pirate, corsair
    a pirate along the Barbary Coast
    sea king
    a Viking pirate chief
    type of:
    despoiler, freebooter, looter, pillager, plunderer, raider, spoiler
    someone who takes spoils or plunder (as in war)
  2. noun
    a ship that is manned by pirates
    synonyms: pirate ship
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    a swift pirate ship (often operating with official sanction)
    type of:
    a vessel that carries passengers or freight
  3. noun
    someone who uses another person's words or ideas as if they were his own
    synonyms: literary pirate, plagiariser, plagiarist, plagiarizer
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    type of:
    stealer, thief
    a criminal who takes property belonging to someone else with the intention of keeping it or selling it
  4. verb
    take arbitrarily or by force
    synonyms: commandeer, highjack, hijack
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    subject an aircraft to air piracy
    take someone's car from him by force, usually with the intention of stealing it
    type of:
    take or capture by force
  5. verb
    copy illegally; of published material
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    type of:
    take without the owner's consent
Word Family

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