verb (1)
pre·​date | \ (ˌ)prē-ˈdāt How to pronounce predate (audio) \
predated; predating; predates

Definition of predate

 (Entry 1 of 2)


verb (2)
pre·​date | \ pri-ˈdāt How to pronounce predate (audio) \
predated; predating; predates

Definition of predate (Entry 2 of 2)

transitive + intransitive

: to prey on (something or someone) Animals predate other animals in nature, but that is hardly commensurate with a massive worldwide farming industry that breeds species purely for our purpose.— Jenny Diski Are high-profile men that sexually predate women finally starting to lose immunity?— Alex McKinnon All cats may predate but those living indoors have little opportunity to do so.— Kevin Stafford There are many species that predate on pigeons and doves.— Revati

Synonyms & Antonyms for predate

Synonyms: Verb (1)

Antonyms: Verb (1)

Visit the Thesaurus for More 

Examples of predate in a Sentence

Verb (1) modes of transportation that predate the car the native people who predated European settlers in America
Recent Examples on the Web: Verb Convenience stores recovered incompletely in 2021, but the data suggests their decline may predate the pandemic. Mike Gousha And John D. Johnson, Journal Sentinel, 30 June 2022 Yet the strain of these new tasks has highlighted the agency’s deficiencies in customer service, which predate the pandemic. Michelle Singletary, Washington Post, 24 June 2022 Allegations of Russian interference in supplying weapons to Ukraine predate the full invasion that started in February. Brett Forrest, WSJ, 16 June 2022 Retrievers that don’t retrieve and Papillons that point are all possible because the genes that shape dog behavior predate modern breeding that focuses on appearance, researchers find. New York Times, 28 Apr. 2022 Crumpacker says stress behaviors like hair pulling can predate an animal’s time at Project Chimps. David Grimm, Science | AAAS, 2 Dec. 2020 Clustered on either side of Dubai Creek, a saltwater stream that slices through the heart of the city, these restaurants represent Old Dubai—the four neighborhoods that predate the skyscrapers that now define the skyline. Vidya Balachander, Time, 17 May 2022 Through the study, Coffin said health officials sought to determine how much of their various overdose prevention and response efforts, many of which predate fentanyl’s increasing influence in San Francisco, were making a dent. Yoohyun Jung, San Francisco Chronicle, 10 May 2022 Thanatosdrakon amaru is thought to predate birds as the first creature with wings to hunt for prey from the air. Elizabeth Gamillo, Smithsonian Magazine, 25 May 2022 See More

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'predate.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

First Known Use of predate

Verb (1)

1854, in the meaning defined above

Verb (2)

1941, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for predate

Verb (2)

back-formation from predator or predatory

Learn More About predate

Time Traveler for predate

Time Traveler

The first known use of predate was in 1854

See more words from the same year

Dictionary Entries Near predate




See More Nearby Entries 

Statistics for predate

Last Updated

5 Jul 2022

Cite this Entry

“Predate.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 5 Jul. 2022.

Style: MLA
MLACheck Mark Icon ChicagoCheck Mark Icon APACheck Mark Icon Merriam-WebsterCheck Mark Icon

More from Merriam-Webster on predate

Britannica English: Translation of predate for Arabic Speakers


Test Your Vocabulary

Words Named After People

  • name tags
  • Namesake of the leotard, Jules Léotard had what profession?
How Strong Is Your Vocabulary?

Test your vocabulary with our 10-question quiz!

Universal Daily Crossword

A daily challenge for crossword fanatics.

Love words? Need even more definitions?

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