noun \ˈprā\

: an animal that is hunted or killed by another animal for food

: someone who is easily harmed or affected in a bad way by someone or something

plural prey also preys

Full Definition of PREY

archaic :  spoil, booty
a :  an animal taken by a predator as food
b :  one that is helpless or unable to resist attack :  victim <was prey to his own appetites>
:  the act or habit of preying

Examples of PREY

  1. The lion stalked its prey.
  2. The bird circled above looking for prey.
  3. The seals are easy prey for sharks.
  4. Too often elderly people are easy prey for swindlers and other criminals.

Origin of PREY

Middle English preie, from Anglo-French, from Latin praeda; akin to Latin prehendere to grasp, seize — more at get
First Known Use: 13th century

Related to PREY

Other Zoology Terms

altruism, integument



Definition of PREY

intransitive verb
:  to make raids for the sake of booty
a :  to seize and devour prey
b :  to commit violence or robbery or fraud
:  to have an injurious, destructive, or wasting effect <worry preyed upon his mind>
prey·er noun

Origin of PREY

Middle English, from Anglo-French preier, from Latin praedari, from praeda
First Known Use: 14th century

Other Zoology Terms

altruism, integument


Next Word in the Dictionary: prezPrevious Word in the Dictionary: prexyAll Words Near: prey
May 28, 2015
fictioneer Hear it
someone who writes fiction
Take a 3-minute break and test your skills!
How to use a word that (literally) drives some people nuts.
Test your vocab with our fun, fast game
Ailurophobia, and 9 other unusual fears