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MERCHANTMAN. A ship or vessel employed in a merchant's service. This term is used in opposition to a ship of war.

References in periodicals archive ?
In effect, the artificial waterway teleported New York nearer to the Asia-Pacific, closer than Liverpool is to Shanghai, an invaluable edge for American merchantmen.
A political fiasco over arming merchantmen caused him to issue a blistering statement on 4 March.
Robert Gray, who was flogged round the fleet for plotting mutiny in the Phoenix in the summer of 1797, was one of these British lower deck cosmopolites: a total of fifteen years at sea, he had served several times on different Royal Navy ships, sometimes he had been impressed and sometimes he had volunteered, he had twice been imprisoned in France, once in Toulon and once in Brest, he had sailed on merchantmen from Bristol, Hamburg, and Genoa, and he had toiled under British, American, and French colors.
Finally, he recommends the arming of merchantmen and coastal patrols by the navy.
In merchantmen, oil for the sailor is more scarce than the milk of queens.
Naval historian Edwards delves into the factual events of the three convoys and their journeys from Liverpool to Gibraltar: the disastrous convoy OG 71 of August 1941, the convoy HG 73 of September 1941, and HG 76, a convoy of 31 merchantmen with a heavy escort of 15 warships.
interest in trade with Asia and the protection of American merchantmen took Commodore Matthew C.
In the latter part of the Mexican period, a revenue officer resided at each settlement and collected duties from merchantmen sailing along the coast or the pack trains that came overland from New Mexico.
Their sole initial purpose will be to protect Japanese merchantmen, but if legislation tabled in Parliament yesterday goes through, the two destroyers will be able to go into action to protect any vessel menaced by the speedboat pirates.
From June 1861 to March 1862, he commanded the CSS Sumter from the Caribbean, to the Brazilian and West African coasts, and finally to Gibraltar, capturing 18 Union merchantmen while being pursued by six Union warships.
If they had the luck to capture rich merchantmen, prize money could do a good deal for them.
The Palatines sailed on cargo ships, or merchantmen, just as the Mayflower passengers of ninety years earlier had done.