Pirate

(redirected from pirates)
Also found in: Dictionary, Thesaurus, Financial, Idioms, Encyclopedia.

PIRATE. A sea robber, who, to enrich himself by subtlety or open force, setteth upon merchants and others trading by sea, despoiling them of their loading, and sometimes bereaving them of life and, sinking their ships; Ridley's View of the Civ. and Eccl. Law, part 2, c. 1, s. 8; or more generally one guilty of the crime of piracy. Merl. Repert. h.t. See, for the etymology of this word, Bac. Ab. Piracy

A Law Dictionary, Adapted to the Constitution and Laws of the United States. By John Bouvier. Published 1856.
References in classic literature ?
Then conscience granted a truce, and these curiously inconsistent pirates fell peacefully to sleep.
Joe was for being a hermit, and living on crusts in a remote cave, and dying, some time, of cold and want and grief; but after listening to Tom, he conceded that there were some conspicuous advantages about a life of crime, and so he consented to be a pirate.
But always, it seemed, were the black pirates of Barsoom victorious, and the girl, brought miraculously unharmed through the conflict, borne away into the outer darkness upon the deck of a swift flier.
Fighting similar to that which surrounded us could be heard in both directions as far as sound carried, and Thuvia told me that the attacks of the black pirates were usually made simultaneously along the entire ribbon-like domain of the therns, which circles the Valley Dor on the outer slopes of the Mountains of Otz.
And the Queen began to make love to me, the latest recruit to the oyster pirate fleet, and no mere hand, but a master and owner.
To-morrow I would be an oyster pirate, as free a freebooter as the century and the waters of San Francisco Bay would permit.
"I am the only one who is not afraid of the pirates," Slightly said, in the tone that prevented his being a general favourite; but perhaps some distant sound disturbed him, for he added hastily, "but I wish he would come back, and tell us whether he has heard anything more about Cinderella."
As the pirates advanced, the quick eye of Starkey sighted Nibs disappearing through the wood, and at once his pistol flashed out.
The oyster pirates lay snugly together at short hawsers, the weather being fine, and they protested loudly at our ignorance in putting out such an unwarranted length of anchor-chain.
The largest of the two pirate ships was commanded by a Japanese captain, who spoke a little Dutch, but very imperfectly.
Another apprehension I had was, the cruel usage we might meet with from them if we fell into their hands; then the story of Amboyna came into my head, and how the Dutch might perhaps torture us, as they did our countrymen there, and make some of our men, by extremity of torture, confess to crimes they never were guilty of, or own themselves and all of us to be pirates, and so they would put us to death with a formal appearance of justice; and that they might be tempted to do this for the gain of our ship and cargo, worth altogether four or five thousand pounds.
Virginia was quick to perceive the necessity for haste, while the pirates at the same instant realized the menace of the new danger which confronted them.