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)

: 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

Keep scrolling for more

Synonyms & Antonyms for predate

Synonyms: Verb (1)

antecede, antedate, forego, precede, preexist

Antonyms: Verb (1)

follow, postdate, succeed

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

Planning for Insider’s ban predated the Covington story, West said. David Bauder, The Seattle Times, "Some journalists wonder if their profession is tweet-crazy," 29 Jan. 2019 Justice Walker said Tuesday the spending practices under fire had predated her tenure. Jacob Gershman, WSJ, "West Virginia Court Impeachment Sets Up a Legal Showdown," 14 Aug. 2018 Pompeo’s involvement with North Korea predated Trump’s decision to meet Kim, several officials said. Mark Landler,, "Secret Pompeo mission to North Korea shows Trump’s trust in spies over diplomats," 18 Apr. 2018 Prior to that, finds in New Mexico have shown tattoo implements that date to between 1100 and 1280 A.D. The new discovery, which dates back to between 500 B.C. and 500 A.D, predates both of those by hundreds, if not thousands, of years. David Grossman, Popular Mechanics, "The United States' Oldest Tattoo Needle Is an Inked-Up Cactus Spine," 28 Feb. 2019 And the walking tour is an industry classic, predating smartphones, selfie sticks and status updates. Stephanie Rosenbloom, New York Times, "Seeing a City the Old-Fashioned Way: One Step at a Time," 25 May 2018 But many protesters speak for causes beyond electoral politics, including concerns like shooting deaths or racial discrimination predating Trump’s political rise. Washington Post, "A surge of protest unlike any in decades, but why now?," 22 Apr. 2018 With these reforms, the peak of allegations also predate a general cultural shift in the US Catholic Church. Tara Isabella Burton, Vox, "New Catholic sex abuse allegations show how long justice can take in a 16-year scandal," 24 Aug. 2018 Next to the basilica, a chapel that predates the church by 500 years is capped by a glorious gold statue of Mary overlooking the city. Rick Steves' Europe, The Seattle Times, "Loving Lyon: France’s culinary capital is off the tourist path," 20 Feb. 2019

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.

See More

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

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about predate

Statistics for predate

Last Updated

14 May 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for predate

The first known use of predate was in 1854

See more words from the same year

Keep scrolling for more

More from Merriam-Webster on predate

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with predate

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for predate

Britannica English: Translation of predate for Arabic Speakers

Comments on predate

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


highly pertinent or appropriate

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Time Traveler Quiz: Which Word Came First?

  • time traveler quiz which word came first
  • Which came first?
Name That Thing

Test your visual vocabulary with our 10-question challenge!


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

Love words? Need even more definitions?

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