Definition of pirate in English:

pirate

noun

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

    as modifier ‘a pirate ship’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘Like I was a pirate on the sea again, with everything right.’
    • ‘But immediately after, another group of pirates attacked the same ship.’
    • ‘No, it was the other pirates who kidnapped her.’
    • ‘Then together we will be the most fearsome pirates on the sea.’
    • ‘Just then four other pirate ships began to approach them.’
    • ‘The ship was named for an infamous pirate from the eighteenth century.’
    • ‘Pearl scurried about the deck, searching the pirate crew to find the captain.’
    • ‘Rys's father, William Rose, had been one of the best and most feared pirates on every sea.’
    • ‘The notorious pirate who sailed the seven seas without once being caught!’
    • ‘Last year, Johnny Depp played a pirate sailing the high seas.’
    • ‘We are originally from Wales, you see, but we came from England and were sailing to Venezuela when pirates attacked our ship.’
    • ‘In one incident, 21 masked, armed pirates boarded a Malaysian fuel tanker in Indonesian waters on September 25.’
    • ‘Today's pirates have maintained one tradition; their attacks are terrifying and violent.’
    • ‘In the past three weeks, pirates have also attacked another tug and an oil tanker in the same region.’
    • ‘Cynis and Reciler watched as the corvettes made short work of the pirate vessels.’
    • ‘The English assembled into a circle with the armed pirates surrounding them.’
    • ‘Sikh soldiers and British forces were deployed when rebels and pirates attacked colonial interests.’
    • ‘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’
      • ‘Music internet pirates, Craig reminds us, are devious little monkeys.’
      • ‘However pirate copies of Windows and Office can be obtained for $4.’
      • ‘If this was a first time offence, convicted software pirates are liable to fines up to $5,200 or two years in jail.’
      • ‘Software pirates are criminals and deserve to be treated as such.’
      • ‘"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.’
      • ‘Greedy crooks in a third world country are making pirate copies of your latest DVD!’
      • ‘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?’
      • ‘The law was drawn up to target professional pirates, criminals and counterfeiters who make copies of goods such as football shirts or CDs.’
      • ‘There was no discussion of the immorality of the criminals who pirate the movies or buy from the pirates.’
      • ‘Some become music pirates just to do something illegal, something different.’
      • ‘Obviously, these are copies, fakes, pirate booty.’
      • ‘But there is such a large margin of error for these Chinatown pirate DVDs.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘Microsoft has busted a group of suspected Scottish software pirates and seized kit worth more than £3 million.’
      • ‘The record companies saw them as free-loading pirates who were stealing copyrighted songs.’
      • ‘He rightly points out that China is only paying lip service to cracking down on counterfeiters and copyright pirates.’
      • ‘Did you know the profit margins on pirate CDs are higher than cocaine?’
      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 got your start in radio as a pirate broadcaster.’
      • ‘Originally put together to sound like a pirate radio broadcast, listening to it now it's like a little time machine.’
      • ‘Dunphy is reluctant to be drawn on his experience of running a pirate station.’
      • ‘An edited version later broadcast on the then pirate radio station Radio Kilkenny resulted in a strong protest from Jim Gibbons and his family.’
      • ‘Radio Friendly was a pirate radio station in Galway City that had been broadcasting for almost twelve months.’
      • ‘I now have the chance to broadcast from a ship in the way those radio pirates did!’
      • ‘You could - in theory - be prosecuted for running a pirate radio station.’
      • ‘A cascade of treasured memories come flooding back; my own upbringing taking in Soul Weekenders, warehouse parties, and stints as a pirate radio broadcaster.’
      • ‘The pirate radio's broadcasts reached listeners as far away as Germany, France, Switzerland, Britain and the Netherlands.’
      • ‘So what is it that defines a pirate radio station?’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘Now former Leeds pirate radio broadcaster Jez is looking to use some of the money to benefit hip-hop talent in Africa.’
      • ‘Pirate station Phantom FM is making its third bid for a Dublin licence.’
      • ‘But pirate radio broadcasters were always subject to arrest for violation of U.S. law.’
      • ‘Another search is also on, as it turns out that a pirate radio station is broadcasting from the glen.’
      • ‘The dismantling of a pirate radio station by police was today hailed as a ‘giant step forward’ by Southend's environment chief.’
      • ‘The pirate radio ship was an excellent experience.’
      • ‘These were used to find people with wireless sets but without licences - and to keep an ear open for pirate radio broadcasts too.’
      • ‘The Radio Caroline pirate radio ship is moored up at Tilbury port.’
      • ‘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’
    • ‘"It doesn't allow people to pirate music, " Hammerton said.’
    • ‘Now, that is because they're trying to prevent people from pirating the movie.’
    • ‘Stevens is no hero: he was found guilty in a separate case of selling pirated software.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘Miguel has been selling pirated music to tourists and Cubans for almost twenty years.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘Although the software was popular, the software writer and his partner did not always get paid: hobbyists were pirating their work.’
    • ‘I also noticed that the article claims that 50,000 people in Mexico make a living selling pirated music.’
    • ‘He said the conviction was the first he knew of involving a foreigner selling pirated DVDs.’
    • ‘Have you heard of anyone having pirated CD's confiscated at customs?’
    • ‘But copyright law did not apply internationally, which meant publishers overseas were free to pirate his works.’
    • ‘But an avalanche of English-language pirated copies of the film is spreading across China.’
    • ‘The DMCA assumes that the only reason to do any of this work is to pirate copyrighted works.’
    • ‘I find it hard to believe that Academy voters would care about pirating their copies.’
    • ‘The warning came from Business Software Alliance who have urged adults to teach children that downloading pirated software is illegal.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘Document 18 has heavy penalties for people who purchase or sell pirated software.’
    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’
    • ‘It was interesting how he basically said that his ship was pirated by these people and that he was afraid.’
    • ‘Then we are going to have to pirate every dead ship we come across for a long while.’
    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/