Top Definition
The commercial ships of a nation and the men and women who man them, both as licensed officers and unlicensed crew. While Navy ships act to defend a nation on the sea, Merchant ships deliver cargo worldwide and are manned by civilians. U.S. Merchant Mariners are the highest paid in the world.

Consists of Freighters, Tankers, RoRo's, Tugboats, Barges, and Ferries

Ships are split into three departments in which personnel work: Deck (navigation, cargo operations, external maintenance), Engineering (propulsion, electrical, and any machinery), and Stewards (cooks).
"I sailed in the Merchant Marine before going to college."
by DeepSeaSailorGuy May 14, 2007
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