Duhaime's Law Dictionary

Disrate Definition:

A term of maritime law where an officer or other seaman is either demoted in rank or deprived of a promotion.

Also dis-rate (with the hyphen).

In maritime law: the power of a commander or master of a vessel to lower an employee in rank.

Arthur English's dictionary:

"Disrate: to lower in rate or rank."

 In The Dryden, the Circuit Court of Appeals used these words to describe the case before it:

"The (action) was for wages and for penalties for their withholding. The defense was that because of incompetence, neglect of duty, and insubordination, libellant had, with the authority and approval of the Vice-Consul of the United States in London, been disrated from steward to work-a-way, and his earned wages to date had been tendered and refused."

In The Aircraft Commander in International Law, Knauth wrote, in reference to the shipmaster:

"He can, with certain statutory formalities, fire his crew and hire a new crew. He can discipline, dis-rate, promote. He can confine a person in the ship's brig.... He can marry (and) bury."


  • English, Arthur, A Dictionary of Words and Phrases (Washington: Washington Law Book Co., 1899), p. 294.
  • Knauth, Arnold, The Aircraft Commander in International Law, 14 J. Air L. & Com. 157 (1947)
  • The Dryden, 127 F. 2d 879 (1942)

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