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Compare Danish sørøver, German Seeräuber, Norwegian sjørøver, Swedish sjörövare.


sea rover (plural sea rovers)

  1. (Britain, colloquial, archaic) A herring.
  2. (literally) One who roams about the ocean much of the time.
  3. A pirate, buccaneer or privateer; an ocean-going marauder.
    • 1843 April 18, New York Insurance Co. et al., "To Commander A.S. Mackenzie", Niles National Register vol. 64 [1], page 179, originally published in the New York American,
      The turning of your ship into a sea-rover would have made the entire ocean a scene of outrage, rapine, and murder.
    • 1858, Thomas Hart Benton, Thirty Years' View: Or, A History of the Working of the American Government, vol. 2[2], page 546:
      It was a ridiculous scheme, both as to the force which was to take the ship, and her employment as a buccaneer -- the state of the ocean and of navigation being such at that time as to leave a sea-rover, pursued as he would be by the fleets of all nations, without a sea to sail in, without a coast to land on, without a rock or corner to hide in.