1. an officer on a merchant ship in charge of the cargo and its sale and purchase;
The Collaborative International Dictionary of English v.0.48:
Supercargo \Su`per*car"go\, n. [Super- + cargo: cf. Sp.
sobrecargo. Cf. Surcharge.]
An officer or person in a merchant ship, whose duty is to
manage the sales, and superintend the commercial concerns, of
WordNet (r) 3.0 (2006):
n 1: an officer on a merchant ship in charge of the cargo and
its sale and purchase
Bouvier's Law Dictionary, Revised 6th Ed (1856):
SUPERCARGO, mar. law. A person specially employed by the owner of a cargo to
take charge of the merchandise which has been shipped, to sell it to the
best advantage, and to purchase returning cargoes and to receive freight, as
he may be authorized.
2. Supercargoes have complete control over the cargo, and everything
which immediately concerns it, unless their authority is either expressly or
impliedly restrained. 12 East, R. 381. Under certain circumstances, they are
responsible for the cargo; 4 Mass. 115; see 1 Gill & John. 1; but the
supercargo has no power to interfere with the government of the ship. 3
Pardes. n. 646; 1 Boulay-Paty, Dr. Com. 421.