Definition of pirate in English:

pirate

noun

  • 1A person who attacks and robs ships at sea.

    as modifier ‘a pirate ship’
    • ‘Like I was a pirate on the sea again, with everything right.’
    • ‘Today's pirates have maintained one tradition; their attacks are terrifying and violent.’
    • ‘Just then four other pirate ships began to approach them.’
    • ‘In the past three weeks, pirates have also attacked another tug and an oil tanker in the same region.’
    • ‘The tugboat, carrying eight Japanese and six Filipino crew members, was attacked by armed pirates.’
    • ‘She worried about them and what would happen if the islanders caught the pirate crew.’
    • ‘Cynis and Reciler watched as the corvettes made short work of the pirate vessels.’
    • ‘We are originally from Wales, you see, but we came from England and were sailing to Venezuela when pirates attacked our ship.’
    • ‘Pearl scurried about the deck, searching the pirate crew to find the captain.’
    • ‘But immediately after, another group of pirates attacked the same ship.’
    • ‘Then together we will be the most fearsome pirates on the sea.’
    • ‘In one incident, 21 masked, armed pirates boarded a Malaysian fuel tanker in Indonesian waters on September 25.’
    • ‘The ship was named for an infamous pirate from the eighteenth century.’
    • ‘No, it was the other pirates who kidnapped her.’
    • ‘Last year, Johnny Depp played a pirate sailing the high seas.’
    • ‘Rys's father, William Rose, had been one of the best and most feared pirates on every sea.’
    • ‘Sikh soldiers and British forces were deployed when rebels and pirates attacked colonial interests.’
    • ‘The English assembled into a circle with the armed pirates surrounding them.’
    • ‘The notorious pirate who sailed the seven seas without once being caught!’
    • ‘In turn, Kirby caught every detail of her swashbuckling pirate.’
    freebooter
    View synonyms
    1. 1.1 A person who appropriates or reproduces the work of another for profit without permission, usually in contravention of patent or copyright.
      as modifier ‘pirate recordings’
      • ‘The record companies saw them as free-loading pirates who were stealing copyrighted songs.’
      • ‘Microsoft has busted a group of suspected Scottish software pirates and seized kit worth more than £3 million.’
      • ‘Here is bad news for Asian copyright pirates: Britain's criminal underworld has decided to go it alone.’
      • ‘However pirate copies of Windows and Office can be obtained for $4.’
      • ‘Greedy crooks in a third world country are making pirate copies of your latest DVD!’
      • ‘The law was drawn up to target professional pirates, criminals and counterfeiters who make copies of goods such as football shirts or CDs.’
      • ‘A gang of four suspected software pirates were arrested in a raid by FBI agents in Los Angeles last week.’
      • ‘With some trial and error a software pirate can sit and generate product keys until one is found to be working.’
      • ‘Did you know the profit margins on pirate CDs are higher than cocaine?’
      • ‘Music internet pirates, Craig reminds us, are devious little monkeys.’
      • ‘Why should downloaders, freeloaders, pirates and copyright felons be entitled to the protection of the law?’
      • ‘Some become music pirates just to do something illegal, something different.’
      • ‘"Buy a pirate DVD and you're far from being the only victim.’
      • ‘Bait and BSA formed a workgroup for reaching consent on the procedures and the police checks of suspected software pirates.’
      • ‘There was no discussion of the immorality of the criminals who pirate the movies or buy from the pirates.’
      • ‘But there is such a large margin of error for these Chinatown pirate DVDs.’
      • ‘Software pirates are criminals and deserve to be treated as such.’
      • ‘He rightly points out that China is only paying lip service to cracking down on counterfeiters and copyright pirates.’
      • ‘Obviously, these are copies, fakes, pirate booty.’
      • ‘If this was a first time offence, convicted software pirates are liable to fines up to $5,200 or two years in jail.’
      copyright infringer, plagiarist, plagiarizer
      View synonyms
    2. 1.2 A person or organization that broadcasts radio or television programmes without official authorization.
      as modifier ‘a pirate radio station’
      • ‘You could - in theory - be prosecuted for running a pirate radio station.’
      • ‘Another search is also on, as it turns out that a pirate radio station is broadcasting from the glen.’
      • ‘If an application to secure a full-time licence is successful, organisers of Wharfedale FM plan to develop it along the lines of the old pirate radio stations.’
      • ‘Dunphy is reluctant to be drawn on his experience of running a pirate station.’
      • ‘The dismantling of a pirate radio station by police was today hailed as a ‘giant step forward’ by Southend's environment chief.’
      • ‘But pirate radio broadcasters were always subject to arrest for violation of U.S. law.’
      • ‘The pirate radio's broadcasts reached listeners as far away as Germany, France, Switzerland, Britain and the Netherlands.’
      • ‘The pirate radio ship was an excellent experience.’
      • ‘I now have the chance to broadcast from a ship in the way those radio pirates did!’
      • ‘Pirate station Phantom FM is making its third bid for a Dublin licence.’
      • ‘You got your start in radio as a pirate broadcaster.’
      • ‘Radio Friendly was a pirate radio station in Galway City that had been broadcasting for almost twelve months.’
      • ‘An edited version later broadcast on the then pirate radio station Radio Kilkenny resulted in a strong protest from Jim Gibbons and his family.’
      • ‘Now former Leeds pirate radio broadcaster Jez is looking to use some of the money to benefit hip-hop talent in Africa.’
      • ‘So what is it that defines a pirate radio station?’
      • ‘The Radio Caroline pirate radio ship is moored up at Tilbury port.’
      • ‘These were used to find people with wireless sets but without licences - and to keep an ear open for pirate radio broadcasts too.’
      • ‘A cascade of treasured memories come flooding back; my own upbringing taking in Soul Weekenders, warehouse parties, and stints as a pirate radio broadcaster.’
      • ‘Originally put together to sound like a pirate radio broadcast, listening to it now it's like a little time machine.’
      • ‘It was the UK's first pirate radio station to broadcast 24 hours a day.’

verb

[WITH OBJECT]
  • 1often as adjective piratedUse or reproduce (another's work) for profit without permission, usually in contravention of patent or copyright.

    ‘pirated tapes of Hollywood blockbusters’
    • ‘Document 18 has heavy penalties for people who purchase or sell pirated software.’
    • ‘I find it hard to believe that Academy voters would care about pirating their copies.’
    • ‘He said the conviction was the first he knew of involving a foreigner selling pirated DVDs.’
    • ‘But an avalanche of English-language pirated copies of the film is spreading across China.’
    • ‘"It doesn't allow people to pirate music, " Hammerton said.’
    • ‘Stevens is no hero: he was found guilty in a separate case of selling pirated software.’
    • ‘Have you heard of anyone having pirated CD's confiscated at customs?’
    • ‘Although the software was popular, the software writer and his partner did not always get paid: hobbyists were pirating their work.’
    • ‘But copyright law did not apply internationally, which meant publishers overseas were free to pirate his 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.’
    • ‘If necessary, he'll pirate his own movie to get it out there.’
    • ‘Pirated copies of the latest Harry Potter are all over the city.’
    • ‘The warning came from Business Software Alliance who have urged adults to teach children that downloading pirated software is illegal.’
    • ‘The DMCA assumes that the only reason to do any of this work is to pirate copyrighted works.’
    • ‘Miguel has been selling pirated music to tourists and Cubans for almost twenty years.’
    • ‘Now, that is because they're trying to prevent people from pirating the movie.’
    • ‘Members learned the genre through pirated CDs and videos smuggled in from Turkey and Jordan.’
    • ‘Firstly, with the emergence of DVDs and pirated VCDs, not many film buffs visit theatres anymore.’
    • ‘I also noticed that the article claims that 50,000 people in Mexico make a living selling pirated music.’
    reproduce illegally, infringe the copyright of, copy illegally, plagiarize, poach, steal, appropriate, bootleg
    View synonyms
  • 2dated Rob or plunder (a ship)

    ‘one of the ferry launches had been pirated while still in the harbour’
    • ‘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.’
    pillage, loot, rob, raid, ransack, strip, fleece, ravage, lay waste, devastate, maraud, sack, rape
    View synonyms

Origin

Middle English: from Latin pirata, from Greek peiratēs, from peirein ‘to attempt, attack’ (from peira ‘an attempt’).

Pronunciation

pirate

/ˈpʌɪrət/