Definition of piracy in English:



  • 1[mass noun] The practice of attacking and robbing ships at sea.

    • ‘North Korea has denied having any connection with the ship and denounced its sinking as an ‘act of piracy.’’
    • ‘Koizumi told reporters that many incidents of piracy have occurred despite shipping companies' own efforts to protect themselves.’
    • ‘To send armed forces onboard a civil ship sending out Mayday signals is piracy.’
    • ‘The IMB reported that between January and March this year, the Malacca Straits have seen seven piracy attacks.’
    • ‘She couldn't possibly wear it often, and much less know about ships and piracy.’
    • ‘The code was introduced by the International Maritime Organisation to deter terrorism, piracy and other criminal acts.’
    • ‘Providing a worrying statistic he said that 60 per cent of the world's acts of piracy happened in South East Asian waters.’
    • ‘Subjects now range far beyond the Great Lakes, from piracy on the high seas to the environmental health of our oceans.’
    • ‘Our goal is to destroy and delegitimize terrorism the way slavery and piracy were delegitimized in the nineteenth century.’
    • ‘Now, as I write, Australia threatens to forcibly remove the ship from our waters and the ship's owner accuses us of piracy.’
    • ‘Naval warfare experts say the U.S. Navy simply isn't large enough to do much about the problem, whether it's piracy or terrorism.’
    • ‘While the waterway has seen no major terrorist attacks, piracy is widespread.’
    • ‘And it could under certain circumstances lead to unilateral action to suppress piracy and terrorism in the Malacca Strait.’
    • ‘No deaths were reported from piracy attacks in the first three months of the year, although pirates were said to be armed with guns, knives and other weapons.’
    • ‘To fight both piracy and terrorism, the IMB proposes pooling resources among the countries sharing sea-lane boundaries.’
    • ‘Recent examples of Somalian piracy includes raids on ships carrying supplies for the UN World Food Programme.’
    • ‘A taste for violence has been a feature of attacks since piracy began.’
    • ‘Property insurance developed in response to the hazards faced by medieval exporters, for example losses from shipwreck, piracy, or theft.’
    • ‘The terrorist / piracy threat also meant escort ships were needed to ensure safe passage on the seas.’
    • ‘There the Africans stood trial for piracy and murder in a much publicized case, even for that day.’
    robbery at sea, freebooting
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    1. 1.1A practice similar to piracy but in other contexts, especially hijacking.
      ‘air piracy’
      • ‘Nevertheless, Mr. Critton's act of air piracy is very much the context of the crimes for which he is to be sentenced.’
      • ‘National leadership and more pervasive international co-operation will also be essential in order to keep mafia and piracy practices from resurging.’
      • ‘Each was convicted on December 11 of air piracy and faces 20 years to life in prison.’
      • ‘Dickens's reaction to these piracies varied from amused contempt to downright vexation.’
      • ‘While piracy and terrorism may not be the same crime, they share enough elements to merit joint definition under international law.’
      • ‘On May 17, a West German court convicted Mohammad Ali Hamadei of murder and air piracy and sentenced him to life imprisonment.’
      • ‘Whether the pressure was to such an extent that the words piracy or ‘hi-jacking’ could be used, will be up to a court of law to determine.’
      • ‘The authors' area of expertise is clearly in energy security, but while floundering in piracy and terrorism they have lost their way.’
      • ‘What happens if someone tries to board the island, in the name of art piracy or stunt publicity?’
      • ‘Mumbai police arrested a person in relation with illegal piracy at the domestic airport in the wee hours of Saturday morning.’
      • ‘We will take the fight to all those involved in piracy and contraband trafficking.’
      • ‘The topic was the arming of airline pilots as a defense against air piracy and terrorism.’
      • ‘Their courtship had begun in the early days of his time at Parchman, just weeks after his ill-fated dabble in air piracy.’
      • ‘They said they could not send all the substantiation they held about the link between piracy and terrorism because it was confidential.’
      • ‘Terror, piracy, and smuggling are expanding threats.’
      • ‘You turned to piracy, you steal, you plunder, you lie, you cheat… you kill.’
      • ‘There are many fine houses here as well as vast warehouses, all of which are walled and well guarded, for piracy and theft are as common as regular trade here.’
  • 2The unauthorized use or reproduction of another's work.

    ‘software piracy’
    • ‘Yet some of the quotes clearly aren't about that at all - they refer to music piracy, or bootlegging, or unofficial releases.’
    • ‘Australian magistrates have blocked the extradition of the alleged head of a software piracy syndicate to the US.’
    • ‘BOOK piracy, the illegal reproduction of books, has assumed menacing proportions over the last two decades.’
    • ‘Another important consideration is to separate movie piracy from music piracy.’
    • ‘Preston also sought the hack printers who actually produced the piracies.’
    • ‘This legislative framework for dealing with piracy and theft of copyrighted goods is now sent to the member states, which have two years to enact laws which comply with the directive.’
    • ‘Therefore, even if music piracy really is stealing, copyright owners don't have a right to take reasonable steps to prevent it.’
    • ‘Newton learned to exploit the commercial press by secretly publishing his works and disowning them as piracies.’
    • ‘Both Hack and Blair say they are skeptical of amnesty programs and don't use them to fight piracy and cable theft efforts.’
    • ‘Consider recent actions on bills addressing such disparate issues as homeland security, movie piracy and auto burglary.’
    • ‘For cable operators it's over $5 billion a year - in revenues lost to signal theft and cable piracy.’
    • ‘The trouble for Russian rights owners is keeping track of Internet piracy when physical piracy is so much of a problem.’
    • ‘Possibly the bank, in the light of a piracy software charge against the buyers, did not want to get involved in the case Microsoft brought against the buyers.’
    • ‘None of that music seemed to be going to the incinerators, and the flow of piracies was not being staunched.’
    • ‘Willetts therefore argued that, far from destroying an industry, his piracies had no significant effect at all on existing publishers' sales.’
    • ‘Notable features of Windows XP are that it is faster that previous operating systems reduces the possibility of piracy and theft of both hardware and software.’
    • ‘Sony says that only 20 titles, which it refuses to name, contain the XCP virus - software which attacks music piracy by attacking your PC.’
    • ‘In the last part of your article you liken the act of music piracy to the theft of physical property.’
    • ‘Software piracy is rife across the continent and costs African governments an estimated total of around US $1 billion per year.’
    • ‘Digital cable is often considered the answer to cable signal theft and piracy, but as a final solution it's a long way off.’
    illegal reproduction, plagiarism, illegal copying, copyright infringement, bootlegging, stealing, theft
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Mid 16th century: via medieval Latin from Greek pirateia, from peiratēs (see pirate).