- past participle
- present participle
pirate, buccaneer, sea robber, sea rover (verb)
someone who robs at sea or plunders the land from the sea without having a commission from any sovereign nation
live like a buccaneer
Any of a group of seamen who cruised on their own account on the Spanish Main and in the Pacific in the 17th century; similar to pirates but did not prey on ships of their own nation.
To engage in piracy against any but one's own nation's ships.
The buccaneers were pirates who attacked Spanish shipping in the Caribbean Sea during the 17th century. The term buccaneer is now used generally as a synonym for pirate. Originally, buccaneer crews were larger, more apt to attack coastal cities, and more localized to the Caribbean than later pirate crews who sailed to the Indian Ocean on the Pirate Round in the late 17th century.
Buccaneers were a kind of privateers or free sailors particular to the Caribbean Sea during the 17th and 18th centuries. First established on northern Hispaniola as early as 1625, their heyday was from the Restoration in 1660 until about 1688, during a time when governments were not strong enough and did not consistently attempt to suppress them.Originally the name applied to the landless hunters of wild boars and cattle in the largely uninhabited areas of Tortuga and Hispaniola. The meat they caught was smoked over a slow fire in little huts the French called boucans to make viande boucanée – jerked meat or jerky – which they sold to the corsairs who preyed on the (largely Spanish) shipping and settlements of the Caribbean. Eventually the term was applied to the corsairs and (later) privateers themselves, also known as the Brethren of the Coast. Though corsairs, also known as filibusters or freebooters, were largely lawless, privateers were nominally licensed by the authorities – first the French, later the English and Dutch – to prey on the Spanish, until their depredations became so severe they were suppressed.
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