What does the word privateer mean?

Usage examples for privateer

  1. At night to Sir W. Batten, where Sir R. Ford did occasion some discourse of sending a convoy to the Maderas; and this did put us upon some new thoughts of sending our privateer thither on merchants' accounts, which I have more mind to, the profit being certain and occasion honest withall. – Diary of Samuel Pepys, Complete Transcribed From The Shorthand Manuscript In The Pepysian Library Magdalene College Cambridge By The Rev. Mynors Bright by Samuel Pepys Commentator: Lord Braybrooke
  2. That is the privateer La Doutelle, one of the fastest little vessels on the coast. – Bonnie Prince Charlie A Tale of Fontenoy and Culloden by G. A. Henty
  3. But, Mrs St. Felix, if it had not been for that good spy- glass you gave me, I never should have discovered the privateer, and we should not have been prepared for her. – Poor Jack by Frederick Marryat