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A corsair is a sailor who was pirating with full support of his government. The equivalent words are cosaro (Italian), corsari (Portuguese) and corsaire (French). The English mainly used it to refer to the Barbary pirates. After 1664 the word privateer was used in English to indicate other pirates acting with letters of marque or commissions. Prior to that, they were volunteers or voluntaries.


  • Jan Rogozinski, "The Wordsworth Dictionary of Pirates", ISBN 1-85326-384-2

This article is just a stub. Cian hopes to eventually expand it with a better description of the Barbary corsairs.