Volunteer navy
Volunteer navy Vol`un*teer" na"vy A navy of vessels fitted out and manned by volunteers who sail under the flag of the regular navy and subject to naval discipline. Prussia in 1870, in the Franco-German war, organized such a navy, which was commanded by merchant seamen with temporary commissions, with the claim (in which England acquiesced) that it did not come within the meaning of the term privateer. [Webster 1913 Suppl.]

The Collaborative International Dictionary of English. 2000.

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