from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition
- n.pl. A document issued by a nation allowing a private citizen to seize citizens or goods of another nation.
- n.pl. A document issued by a nation allowing a private citizen to equip a ship with arms in order to attack enemy ships.
from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English
- n. a license or extraordinary commission granted by a government to a private person to fit out a privateer or armed ship to cruise at sea and make prize of the enemy's ships and merchandise. The ship so commissioned is sometimes called a letter of marque.
from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.
- n. a license to a private citizen to seize property of another nation
Middle English letters of mark, from Old French marque, mark, seizure, reprisal; see marquetry.(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)