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[pred-uh-ter, -tawr] /ˈprɛd ə tər, -ˌtɔr/
Zoology. any organism that exists by preying upon other organisms.
a predatory person.
Origin of predator
1920-25; < Latin praedātor plunderer, equivalent to praedā() to plunder (derivative of praeda prey) + -tor -tor
Related forms
antipredator, noun Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the web for predator
  • I'm wondering: did a predator disturb the nest?
  • Yet herding has become unprofitable, despite big state subsidies and the payment of compensation for animals lost to predators.
  • Some thrive only on offshore islands where predators are few.
  • Thus begins a complex and delicate dance between predator and prey.
  • It is believed to be the biggest toothed predator in the world.
  • Large predators gain tremendous benefits from being big.
  • The wild buffalo, which grazes on grass, faces few predators.
  • Giant jellies have no natural predators, and aren't even eaten by humans.
  • Their only predator is an occasional cheetah.
  • The region's largest predator, the tiger, has plenty of room to roam.
British Dictionary definitions for predator


any carnivorous animal
a predatory person or thing
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for predator

1862, from Latin praedator "plunderer," from praedari "to rob" (see predation). Originally Predatores (Swainson, 1840) used of insects that ate other insects.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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predator in Science
An animal that lives by capturing and eating other animals.
The American Heritage® Science Dictionary
Copyright © 2002. Published by Houghton Mifflin. All rights reserved.
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