Definition of seaman in English:



  • 1A person who works as a sailor, especially one below the rank of officer.

    • ‘The Yorkshire man was a former merchant navy seaman.’
    • ‘His last pamphlet was about the appalling conditions of British seamen.’
    • ‘Even before the ship had left Buenos Aires some of the British seamen objected to sailing with Greeks.’
    • ‘Eleven seamen were killed, others were wounded, and many were subsequently interned.’
    • ‘Clearly, this was a tough campaign for all concerned, particularly for the ordinary seamen.’
    • ‘‘Make a goal and go for it’ was a motto that stuck with the former deck seaman.’
    • ‘In 1808-1811, the British navy, desperate for able-bodied seamen, impressed more than six thousand Americans.’
    • ‘Crew from the admiral down to ordinary seamen had no enmity towards their opposite numbers.’
    • ‘But the former merchant seaman is not your average bum.’
    • ‘And one of its own large cannons blew up, killing yet more seamen.’
    • ‘With her she was taking 50 able-bodied seamen and 20 some foot soldiers.’
    • ‘Twenty-two seamen were killed when his ship came under fire.’
    • ‘The Hong Kong seamen's strike of 1922 was directed at foreign power.’
    • ‘Seaman officer and pilot recruiting will be next, with new advertisements being filmed now.’
    • ‘Smaller and less centralized, the Continental navy drew upon experienced seamen and where necessary relied on training on shipboard.’
    • ‘The national seamen's union planned a strike for June 1911 to force the bosses to recognise the union.’
    • ‘I bring to the Minister's attention the case of an able seaman.’
    sailor, seafarer, seafaring man, mariner, boatman, hand, crew member, rating
    sea dog, bluejacket
    matelot, matlow, matlo
    tar, jack tar, hearty
    crew, complement
    View synonyms
    1. 1.1A sailor of the lowest rank in the US Navy or Coast Guard, ranking below petty officer.
      • ‘All crew members, from captain to seaman recruit, eat the same food - but on different days.’
    2. 1.2[with adjective]A person regarded in terms of their ability to captain or crew a boat or ship.
      ‘he's the best seaman on the coast’
      • ‘Such an experienced seaman, still physically strong and able.’


Old English sǣman (see sea, man).