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vulture

[vuhl-cher] /ˈvʌl tʃər/
noun
1.
any of several large, primarily carrion-eating Old World birds of prey of the family Accipitridae, often having a naked head and less powerful feet than those of the related hawks and eagles.
2.
any of several superficially similar New World birds of the family Cathartidae, as the turkey vulture.
3.
a person or thing that preys, especially greedily or unscrupulously:
That vulture would sell out his best friend.
Origin of vulture
1325-1375
1325-75; Middle English < Latin vultur
Related forms
vulturelike, adjective
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the Web for vulture
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • To make your fortune, you need the eyes of a fox, the legs of a spider, and the wings of a vulture.

  • The difference only between the eagle and the vulture,—serenity or restlessness.

    The Black Tulip Alexandre Dumas (Pere)
  • The stiff and crippled hand, with contracted fingers, resembled the claw of a vulture.

    In the Heart of Africa Samuel White Baker
  • James B., like a vulture, had been hoping for a place on the crew for many a day.

    Janet of the Dunes Harriet T. Comstock
  • The shadow of a vulture sailing passed slowly from side to side.

    The Woodlands Orchids Frederick Boyle
British Dictionary definitions for vulture

vulture

/ˈvʌltʃə/
noun
1.
any of various very large diurnal birds of prey of the genera Neophron, Gyps, Gypaetus, etc, of Africa, Asia, and warm parts of Europe, typically having broad wings and soaring flight and feeding on carrion: family Accipitridae (hawks) See also griffon1 (sense 2), lammergeier
2.
any similar bird of the family Cathartidae of North, Central, and South America See also condor, turkey buzzard
3.
a person or thing that preys greedily and ruthlessly on others, esp the helpless
Derived Forms
vulture-like, adjective
Word Origin
C14: from Old French voltour, from Latin vultur; perhaps related to Latin vellere to pluck, tear
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 vulture
n.

late 14c., from Anglo-French vultur, Old French voultour, from Latin vultur, earlier voltur, perhaps related to vellere "to pluck, to tear." Figurative sense is recorded from 1580s.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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vulture in the Bible

(1.) Heb. da'ah (Lev. 11:14). In the parallel passage (Deut. 14:13) the Hebrew word used is _ra'ah_, rendered "glede;" LXX., "gups;" Vulg., "milvus." A species of ravenous bird, distinguished for its rapid flight. "When used without the epithet 'red,' the name is commonly confined to the black kite. The habits of the bird bear out the allusion in Isa. 34:15, for it is, excepting during the winter three months, so numerous everywhere in Palestine as to be almost gregarious." (See EAGLE.) (2.) In Job 28:7 the Heb. 'ayyah is thus rendered. The word denotes a clamorous and a keen-sighted bird of prey. In Lev. 11:14 and Deut. 14:13 it is rendered "kite" (q.v.).

Easton's 1897 Bible Dictionary
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