letter of marque

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Related to Letter-of-marque: Letter of marque and reprisal

letter of marque

or

letters of marque

n
1. a licence granted by a state to a private citizen to arm a ship and seize merchant vessels of another nation
2. a similar licence issued by a nation allowing a private citizen to seize goods or citizens of another nation
Also called: letter of marque and reprisal
Collins English Dictionary – Complete and Unabridged, 12th Edition 2014 © HarperCollins Publishers 1991, 1994, 1998, 2000, 2003, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2011, 2014

let′ter

(or let′ters) of marque′,


n.
license granted by a state to a private citizen to capture and confiscate the merchant ships of another nation. Also called let′ter of marque′ and repris′al.
[1400–50]
Random House Kernerman Webster's College Dictionary, © 2010 K Dictionaries Ltd. Copyright 2005, 1997, 1991 by Random House, Inc. All rights reserved.
ThesaurusAntonymsRelated WordsSynonymsLegend:
Noun1.letter of marque - a license to a private citizen to seize property of another nation
license, permit, licence - a legal document giving official permission to do something
Based on WordNet 3.0, Farlex clipart collection. © 2003-2012 Princeton University, Farlex Inc.
References in periodicals archive ?
A letter-of-marque vessel was primarily a cargo carrier, not optimized as a privateer--which would have a larger (non-wage-earning) crew, greater speed, and heavier armament.
Indeed, merchants could choose an intermediate solution as a letter-of-marque trader.
Scaling the rigging of The Tall Ship on the Clyde in Glasgow, Polly, 22, a barmaid in the city, said: "He carried a letter-of-marque, a privateer's licence to prey on enemies of the British Crown."