A sailor, seaman, mariner, or seafarer is a person who navigates water-borne vessels or assists as a crew member in their operation and maintenance.
Etymologically, the name "sailor" preserves the memory of the time when ships were commonly powered by sails, but it applies to the personnel of all vessels, whatever their mode of propulsion, and includes military maritime (naval) personnel and members of the merchant marine as well as recreational sailors. The term "seaman" is frequently used in the particular sense of a sailor who is not an officer.
Famous quotes containing the word sailor:
“He is the best sailor who can steer within the fewest points of the wind, and extract a motive power out of the greatest obstacles. Most begin to veer and tack as soon as the wind changes from aft, and as within the tropics it does not blow from all points of the compass, there are some harbors which they can never reach.”
—Henry David Thoreau (18171862)
“The sailor is frankness, the landsman is finesse. Life is not a game with the sailor, demanding the long headno intricate game of chess where few moves are made in straight-forwardness and ends are attained by indirection, an oblique, tedious, barren game hardly worth that poor candle burnt out in playing it.”
—Herman Melville (18191891)
“The soger frae the wars returns,
The sailor frae the main,
But I hae parted frae my Love,
Never to meet again, my dear,
Never to meet again.”
—Robert Burns (17591796)