From Middle English seman, from Old English sǣmann, equivalent to sea + -man. Cognate with Saterland Frisian Seemon (“seaman, sailor”), West Frisian seeman (“seaman, sailor”), Dutch zeeman (“seaman, sailor”), German Low German Seemann (“seaman, sailor”), German Seemann (“seaman, sailor”), Swedish sjöman (“seaman, sailor”), Norwegian sjømann (“seaman, sailor”).
seaman (plural seamen)
- A mariner or sailor, one who mans a ship. Opposed to landman or landsman.
- 2012 March 1, William E. Carter, Merri Sue Carter, “The British Longitude Act Reconsidered”, in American Scientist, volume 100, number 2, page 87:
- But was it responsible governance to pass the Longitude Act without other efforts to protect British seamen? Or might it have been subterfuge—a disingenuous attempt to shift attention away from the realities of their life at sea.
- (Britain, Navy) A person of the lowest rank in the Navy, below able seaman.
- (US, Navy) An enlisted rate in the United States Navy and United States Coast Guard, ranking below petty officer third class and above seaman apprentice.
- A merman; the male of the mermaid.