mid-15c., "act of plundering or pillaging," from L. praedationem
) "a plundering, act of taking booty," from praedari
"to rob, to plunder," from praeda
"plunder, booty, prey" (see prey
). Zoological sense recorded from 1932. Predatory
is first recorded 1580s; of animals, 1660s. The verb predate
"to seek prey" (1974) is a modern back formation.