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1. an armed, privately owned vessel commissioned for war service by a government
2. a commander or member of the crew of a privateer



(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.

References in periodicals archive ?
On the way home, however, she was seized by a British privateer who refused to recognise her papers and took her into Bristol as a prize.
(30) Historians credit the expansion and development of the Western world from 1600 to 1815 to privateers. (31)
Significantly for comparisons to patent law, privateers'
Patent privateers allow businesses to avoid these obstacles to patent licensing.
Buccaneers were pirates and privateers who operated from bases in the West Indies, and attacked Spanish shipping in the Caribbean.
Filling a gap in historical literature, this book offers a complete list of the 248 American privateers active during the War of 1812 and the vessels they captured during the war, organizing information scattered throughout editions of Niles' Weekly Register.
Mthough the wars of the late eighteenth and early nineteenth centuries typically evoke images of large public armies and navies created to wage warfare for the state's political goals, privateers also played an important role.
Britain allows a monopoly of privateers to profit from racing, thereby causing the highest entrance charges to racetracks in the world and, comparatively, the lowest prize-money from betting revenues.
PIRATES and privateers ruled the waves at Liverpool's Albert Dock during the weekend.
Colonial privateers and British warships took advantage of the friction in spring 1813, taking the war to the enemy by capturing or destroying US shipping traveling along the Maine coast, threatening military supply lines.
No wonder privateers are rushing into the care home 'business'.
"Also with the factory teams allowed in against the privateers it is not going to be easy to compete on a level playing field, so I think we will wait and see exactly what the rule changes are before I make a decision.".