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prey

[prey] /preɪ/
noun
1.
an animal hunted or seized for food, especially by a carnivorous animal.
2.
a person or thing that is the victim of an enemy, a swindler, a disease, etc.; gull.
3.
the action or habit of preying:
a beast of prey.
4.
Archaic. booty or plunder.
verb (used without object)
5.
to seize and devour prey, as an animal does (usually followed by on or upon):
Foxes prey on rabbits.
6.
to make raids or attacks for booty or plunder:
The Vikings preyed on coastal settlements.
7.
to exert a harmful or destructive influence:
His worries preyed upon his mind.
8.
to victimize another or others (usually followed by on or upon):
loan sharks that prey upon the poor.
Origin
1200-1250
1200-50; Middle English preye < Old French < Latin praeda booty, prey; akin to prehendere to grasp, seize (see prehension)
Related forms
preyer, noun
unpreying, adjective
Can be confused
pray, prayer, prey.
Synonyms
2. dupe, target.
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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British Dictionary definitions for preyer

prey

/preɪ/
noun
1.
an animal hunted or captured by another for food
2.
a person or thing that becomes the victim of a hostile person, influence, etc
3.
beast of prey, an animal that preys on others for food
4.
bird of prey, a bird that preys on others for food
5.
an archaic word for booty1
verb (intransitive; often foll by on or upon)
6.
to hunt or seize food by killing other animals
7.
to make a victim (of others), as by profiting at their expense
8.
to exert a depressing or obsessive effect (on the mind, spirits, etc); weigh heavily (upon)
Derived Forms
preyer, noun
Word Origin
C13: from Old French preie, from Latin praeda booty; see predatory
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 preyer
prey
mid-13c., "animal hunted for food," from O.Fr. preie "booty, animal taken in the chase" (1140), from L. præda "booty, plunder, game hunted," earlier præheda, related to prehendere "to grasp, seize" (see prehensile). The verb meaning "to plunder, pillage, ravage" is attested from late 13c., from O.Fr. preer, earlier preder (c.1040), from L.L. prædare. Its sense of "to kill and devour" is attested from mid-14c.
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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Word Value for preyer

11
11
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