Also found in: Dictionary, Thesaurus, Legal, Wikipedia.


1. an armed, privately owned vessel commissioned for war service by a government
2. a commander or member of the crew of a privateer
Collins Discovery Encyclopedia, 1st edition © HarperCollins Publishers 2005
The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.



(1) A privately owned ship specially armed and allowed by a government to engage in military action against enemy ships. Privateers were known from the 15th to the 18th century in various European and American states.

(2) A private individual who has received special permission from the government to engage in privateering.

The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.
References in periodicals archive ?
With more than 18 years of commercial banking experience, Tosetti joined Privateer from the Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco where he was a commissioned bank examiner.
With a fair wind, and without the intervention of privateers, the 600 miles between Dublin and Bordeaux could be travelled, and letters delivered, in a remarkably short time.
While the United States wanted to ensure it would be allowed to trade with both sides of a conflict, free from privateer entanglements, another more vital concern existed.
Michael Auerbach, who has invested in Privateer, has been named the first board member of the private equity firm, Privateer said.
profession of privateer," (144) and piracy could be the outcome of
John Hawkins (1532-95) (above) was the first English privateer to realise that the slave trade was very profitable.
For instance, the IC's customers might be lucrative targets for the privateer, but inappropriate targets from the IC's point of view.
In this situation, the merchant would secure a letter of marque and reprisal and arm his ship more heavily than typical of a transport, but, unlike a dedicated privateer, he would also transport goods.
For example, in December 1812, to evade Bream, the crew of the tiny American privateer Lilly ran their ship onshore and took shelter, "and then we histed English collers under American cullars and took the trumpet and told them to come in and take them downe we was so near we could hear them talk." In October 1813, Bream pursued the privateer Holker, which, according to her logbook, ran into "Starbord Crik we then got on all our arms on shore 8c prepared to give them a warm reception but she bore away & went to their old anchorage." Discretion being the better part of valour, these boat parties carefully appraised the situation before coming within gunshot.
A keen contest between privateer Veer Patel, privateer C D Jinan and Team TVS Racing's Pradeep H K ensued for the next few laps until Pradeep H K in a blinder of a move edged past rival Veer Patel to take second position.
The Toyota Hilux has become the vehicle ofchoice for privateer entrants in the ABSA South African Off Road Championship with the reliability and durability of the standard vehicle crossing over into the racing derivatives.