follow Dictionary.com

Are yams and sweet potatoes the same?

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.
Cite This Source
British Dictionary definitions for preying

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
Cite This Source
Word Origin and History for preying

prey

n.

mid-13c., "animal hunted for food," also "that which is taken in war," from Old French preie "booty, animal taken in the chase" (mid-12c., Modern French proie), from Latin praeda "booty, plunder, game hunted," earlier praeheda, related to prehendere "to grasp, seize" (see prehensile).

v.

c.1300, "to plunder, pillage, ravage," from prey (n.) and in part from Old French preer, earlier preder (c.1040), from Late Latin praedare, from praeda (see prey (n.)). Its sense of "to kill and devour" is attested from mid-14c. Related: Preyed; preying.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
Cite This Source

Word of the Day

Click to see easier and harder words for prey

Word Value for preying

13
15
Scrabble Words With Friends

Quotes with preying

Nearby words for preying