AskDefine | Define seaman

Dictionary Definition



1 a man who serves as a sailor [syn: mariner, tar, Jack-tar, Jack, old salt, seafarer, gob, sea dog]
2 muckraking United States journalist who exposed bad conditions in mental institutions (1867-1922) [syn: Elizabeth Seaman, Elizabeth Cochrane Seaman, Nellie Bly]

User Contributed Dictionary






  1. A mariner or sailor, one who mans a ship. Opposed to landman or landsman.
  2. A naval rank, same level as private in the army.
  3. A merman; the male of the mermaid.
    Not to mention mermaids or seamen. — Locke.


mariner or sailor
  • Czech: námořník
  • Dutch: matroos, zeeman
  • Finnish: merimies
  • Greek: ναυτικός
  • Hungarian: tengerész, matróz
  • Italian: marinaio
  • Japanese: 水兵(), 水夫(), 船員 ()
  • Portuguese: marinheiro
  • Russian: моряк, матрос
  • Swedish: sjöman
naval rank
  • Dutch: matroos
  • Finnish: matruusi
  • Greek: ναύτης
  • Russian: матрос

Related terms

Extensive Definition

Seaman as a rate refers to the one of the lowest rates in a Navy.
In Commonwealth context it refers to the lowest rank in the Navy, followed by Able Seaman and Leading Seaman, and followed by the Petty Officer ranks.
In United States context it refers to the lowest three enlisted rates of the U.S. Navy, followed by the Petty Officer ranks. It is the equivalent of the private in the U.S. Army.

United States

Seaman is the third lowest enlisted rate in the U.S. Navy and other navies. For the U.S. Navy and U.S. Coast Guard the rate is just above Seaman Apprentice and below Petty Officer Third Class; this rate was formerly known as Seaman First Class.
The actual title for an E-3 in the U.S. Navy varies based on the community to which the sailor belongs. Likewise, the color of their group rate marks also depends on their community.
  • Those in the general deck and administrative community are Seamen. They wear White stripes on navy blue uniforms, and navy blue (black) stripes on white uniforms.
  • Hospital Corpsmen are Hospitalmen. They are the only rate in this community. They wear White stripes on navy blue uniforms, and navy blue stripes on white uniforms.
  • Those in the engineering and hull community are called Firemen and wear red stripes on both navy blue and white uniforms.
  • Those in the aviation community are called Airmen and wear green stripes on both navy blue and white uniforms.
  • Seabees are called Constructionmen and wear light blue stripes on both navy blue and white uniforms.
No stripes are worn on the working uniforms - coveralls or utilities.
In October 2005, the Dental Technician rating was merged with the Hospital Corpsman rating, eliminating the Dentalman title. Those who once held the rank of Dentalman have instead become Hospitalmen.
Sailors who have completed the requirements to be assigned a rating and have been accepted by the Bureau of Naval Personnel as holding that rating (a process called "striking") are called Designated Strikers, and are called by their full rate and rating in formal communications (ie, Machinist's Mate Fireman, as opposed to simply Fireman), though the rating is often left off in informal communication. Those who have not officially been assigned to a rating are officially referred to as "Undesignated" or "Non-rates."
As with the Navy, the actual title for a E-3 in the United States Coast Guard varies based on their community. However, the smaller size of the Coast Guard limits E-3s to only three options: Seaman (white stripes), Fireman (red stripes), and Airman (green stripes).

See also

seaman in Danish: Orlogsgast
seaman in German: Seeleute
seaman in Modern Greek (1453-): Ναυτικός
seaman in Esperanto: Maristo
seaman in French: Matelot
seaman in Georgian: მეზღვაური
seaman in Dutch: Matroos
seaman in Polish: Marynarz (zawód)
seaman in Russian: Матрос
seaman in Simple English: Seaman
seaman in Finnish: Matruusi
seaman in Turkish: Denizci
seaman in Latvian: Matrozis
seaman in Ukrainian: Матрос

Synonyms, Antonyms and Related Words

AB, Ancient Mariner, Argonaut, Davy, Davy Jones, Dylan, Flying Dutchman, Neptune, Nereid, Nereus, OD, Oceanid, Oceanus, Poseidon, Thetis, Triton, Varuna, able seaman, able-bodied seaman, bluejacket, buccaneer, deep-sea man, fair-weather sailor, fisherman, hearty, jack, jack afloat, jack-tar, jacky, limey, lobsterman, mariner, matelot, mermaid, merman, navigator, pirate, privateer, sailor, salt, sea devil, sea dog, sea god, sea rover, seafarer, seafaring man, shipman, siren, tar, tarpaulin, viking, water dog, whaler, windjammer, windsailor
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