depredate

verb
dep·​re·​date | \ ˈde-prə-ˌdāt How to pronounce depredate (audio) \
depredated; depredating

Definition of depredate

transitive verb

: to lay waste : plunder, ravage

intransitive verb

: to engage in plunder

Keep scrolling for more

Other Words from depredate

depredation \ ˌde-​prə-​ˈdā-​shən How to pronounce depredation (audio) \ noun
depredator \ ˈde-​prə-​ˌdā-​tər How to pronounce depredator (audio) , di-​ˈpre-​də-​ \ noun
depredatory \ di-​ˈpre-​də-​ˌtȯr-​ē How to pronounce depredatory (audio) , ˈde-​pri-​də-​ \ adjective

Did You Know?

Depredate derives primarily from the Latin verb praedari, meaning "to plunder," an ancestor to our words "predator" and "prey." First appearing in English in the 17th century, the word most commonly appears in contexts relating to nature and ecology, where it is often used to describe the methodical, almost automatic destruction of life. That’s how the film critic Stanley Kauffman, for example, summarized the plot of the famous horror movie Jaws (1975): "A killer shark depredates the beach of an island summer resort. Several people are killed. Finally, the shark is killed. That's the story."

First Known Use of depredate

1626, in the meaning defined at transitive sense

History and Etymology for depredate

Late Latin depraedatus, past participle of depraedari, from Latin de- + praedari to plunder — more at prey

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about depredate

Listen to Our Podcast about depredate

Statistics for depredate

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for depredate

The first known use of depredate was in 1626

See more words from the same year

More from Merriam-Webster on depredate

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with depredate

Comments on depredate

What made you want to look up depredate? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).

WORD OF THE DAY

having no luck

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

What's that Smell?! Quiz

  • wide eyed dog smelling rose
  • Someone who is hircine smells like a:
True or False

Test your knowledge - and maybe learn something along the way.

TAKE THE QUIZ
Word Winder's CrossWinder

Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.

TAKE THE QUIZ
Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!