privateer

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privateer

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 It might be outdated or ideologically biased.

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.

The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.