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[pred-uh-tawr-ee, -tohr-ee] /ˈprɛd əˌtɔr i, -ˌtoʊr i/
Zoology. preying upon other organisms for food.
of, relating to, or characterized by plunder, pillage, robbery, or exploitation:
predatory tactics.
engaging in or living by these activities:
predatory bands of brigands.
excessive or exploitive in amount or cost, as out of greed or to take advantage of consumers or patrons:
predatory pricing.
acting with or possessed by overbearing, rapacious, or selfish motives:
He was cornered at the party by a predatory reporter.
Origin of predatory
1580-90; < Latin praedātōrius. See predator, -tory1
Related forms
predatorily, adverb
predatoriness, noun
nonpredatorily, adverb
nonpredatorilyness, noun
nonpredatory, adjective
unpredatory, adjective
2, 3. rapacious. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the web for predatory
  • But our definition of predatory pricing has tended to vary over time.
  • The administration and departments overlook these relationships because they are not considered predatory.
  • Now research has put up a surprising candidate to join this high-speed predatory club: the short-finned pilot whale.
  • Experts believe the extinct birds were meat-eaters because their beaks resemble those of predatory eagles and scavenging vultures.
  • Depletion of large predatory fish disrupts food chain.
  • They were not some early croc offshoot that filled the niche that would later be occupied by predatory dinosaurs.
  • The state has mostly rotted away, and much of what is left is predatory.
  • Learn about the felines known for their speed, sound, and predatory nature.
  • These compounds signal to other predatory insects that there is a quick meal to be had.
  • In the water you'd see a pretty hostile place, with lots of predatory fish with giant fangs.
British Dictionary definitions for predatory


/ˈprɛdətərɪ; -trɪ/
(zoology) another word for predacious (sense 1)
of, involving, or characterized by plundering, robbing, etc
Derived Forms
predatorily, adverb
predatoriness, noun
Word Origin
C16: from Latin praedātōrius rapacious, from praedārī to pillage, from praeda booty
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 predatory

1580s, "involving plundering," from Latin praedatorius "pertaining to plunder," from praedator "plunderer," from praedor "to plunder," from praeda "prey" (see prey (n.)). Of animals, from 1660s.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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