Definition of pirate in US English:

pirate

noun

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

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

verb

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

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

    • ‘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

/ˈpīrət//ˈpaɪrət/