pre·​da·​ceous pri-ˈdā-shəs How to pronounce predaceous (audio)
variants or predacious
: living by preying on other animals : predatory
usually predacious : tending to devour or despoil : rapacious
predaceousness noun
predacity noun

Examples of predaceous in a Sentence

the predaceous animals of the jungle, with the tiger at the top of the food chain
Recent Examples on the Web Biden officials are offering up to 30,000 migrants per month a two-year permit to live and work in the United States under the terms of the program, and say such legal pathways are successfully steering migrants toward a safer and more orderly option than the one offered by predacious smugglers. Nick Miroff, Anchorage Daily News, 1 Feb. 2023 People may be aware that consumer debt collection is predaceous and corrupt; that low-income people face terrible odds in family or housing court; that anyone hoping to receive government benefits depends on the whim, and competence, of bureaucrats seeking to cut costs. Kathryn Joyce, The New Republic, 22 June 2020 These predaceous decisions have negatively affected the population of the last frontier and the families & communities of this great state. Anchorage Daily News, 6 Aug. 2022 Various species of aquatic insects, such as the predaceous diving beetle, use bubbles for breathing underwater. Elizabeth Gamillo, Smithsonian Magazine, 27 May 2021 Early in the season, these mites are pollen feeders, then become predaceous as more prey develops, according to 2012 research at Wittenberg University in Springfield, Ohio. Jo Ellen Meyers Sharp, Indianapolis Star, 15 June 2018 Even though Coronodon is only known from a skull, that fossil reveals a mammal that mixed the features of earlier, more predaceous whales and the baleen whales that would follow. Brian Switek, Scientific American Blog Network, 10 July 2017 The best paleontologists can do is try to reconstruct the details of their habitat and gauge the predaceous powers of these crocs. Brian Switek, WIRED, 19 Sep. 2012 See More

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'predaceous.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History


Latin praedari to prey upon (from praeda prey) + English -aceous or -acious (as in rapacious) — more at prey entry 2

First Known Use

1713, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Time Traveler
The first known use of predaceous was in 1713

Dictionary Entries Near predaceous

Cite this Entry

“Predaceous.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 6 Dec. 2023.

Kids Definition


variants or predacious
: living by preying on others : predatory sense 2
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