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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.
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. 2014.
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Examples from the web for predators
  • When predators become prey to fishermen, a study finds, little fish go farther to feed.
  • Pirates were the first predators of global commerce.
  • Over time, animals have developed many ways to stay away from predators.
  • These predators specialize in hunting other spiders, and use different techniques depending on their prey.
  • Scientists have discovered a long-armed octopus that mimics poisonous creatures of the sea to avoid its predators.
  • To escape predators in the ocean, these cephalopods will speed away by shooting a jet of water.
  • Hammerhead sharks are consummate predators that use their oddly shaped heads to improve their ability to find prey.
  • Many animals fool predators by changing colors to mimic their surroundings or the traits of other species.
  • Overfishing has reduced jellyfish predators and climate change has increased ocean temperatures.
  • First, mimic octopus ancestors started switching on bold colors to shock predators when camouflage failed.
British Dictionary definitions for predators


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 predators



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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predators 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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