- a privately owned and manned armed ship commissioned by a government in a war to attack and capture enemy ships, esp. merchant ships
- a commander or crew member of a privateeralso pri·va·teers′man
Origin of privateerfrom privat(e) + -eer
to sail as a privateer
- A ship privately owned and crewed but authorized by a government during wartime to attack and capture enemy vessels.
- The commander or one of the crew of such a ship.
intransitive verbpri·va·teered, pri·va·teer·ing, pri·va·teers
To sail as a privateer.
- (nautical) A privately owned warship that had official sanction to attack enemy ships and take possession of their cargo.
- An officer or any other member of the crew of such a ship.
- (motor racing) A private individual entrant into a race or competition who does not have the backing of a large, professional team.
(third-person singular simple present privateers, present participle privateering, simple past and past participle privateered)
- To function under official sanction permitting attacks on enemy shipping and seizing ship and cargo; to engage in government-sponsored piracy.