pre·​da·​tion | \ pri-ˈdā-shən How to pronounce predation (audio) \

Definition of predation

1 : the killing by one living organism of another for food These small fish are most vulnerable to predation just after sunset, when larger fish, such as barracuda and jacks, chase them into the shallow water near shore to feed on them.— Anne Brooke … elephant seals historically avoided the mainland to protect the newborns from predation by grizzly bears.— Carolyn Longstreth In other words, just as vascular plants make tannins, phenols, sterols and alkaloids to defend against predation, it is likely that cyanobacteria synthesize poisons to ward off attack by fellow planktonic species.— Wayne Carmichael : a mode of life in which food is primarily obtained by the killing and consuming of animals Predation is important to an understanding of ancient ecology because the food chain helps determine the structure of biological communities.— Derek Briggs and Harry Whittington Weeks or months later, depending on ambient temperatures, a beetle returns to the water to resume a life of predation.Natural History
2 : the act of injuring, exploiting, or plundering others for personal gain A burglary occurs every 10 seconds, according to the Federal Bureau of Investigation. Such predation keeps Americans uneasy …Consumer Reports To the traditionalists, predation is any price or product strategy intended to impose costs on a competitor.Insight

Examples of predation in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web Emerging en masse, though, helps the bugs survive predation and mate successfully, as birds and small mammals only can pick off so many cicadas at once. Jen Rose Smith, CNN, 23 May 2021 His story is a stark example of what critics call a breakdown in the rules intended to protect students — and U.S. taxpayers — from the predation of for-profit schools. Chris Quintana, USA Today, 18 May 2021 Men like Rudy Giuliani and Jeff Sessions launched successful political careers by stoking fears of criminal predation, often with rhetoric that had strong racial overtones (and even as crime rates fell). Nikhil Pal Singh, The New Republic, 14 May 2021 Emerging en masse, though, helps the bugs survive predation and mate successfully, as birds and small mammals only can pick off so many cicadas at once. Jen Rose Smith, CNN, 16 Apr. 2021 Other studies in Georgia and Alabama have shown coyote predation to be a leading cause of fawn mortality, and lower fall fawn-to-doe ratios since the arrival of coyotes. Popular Science, 12 Mar. 2021 In most animals and even some sea slugs, autotomy is thought to serve only as a means of avoiding predation. New York Times, 8 Mar. 2021 The victims of such predation are not only corporations but immigrant small-business owners. Heather Mac Donald, WSJ, 22 Apr. 2021 Birds can be a real source of predation for mason bees. oregonlive, 11 Apr. 2021

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

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First Known Use of predation

15th century, in the meaning defined at sense 2

History and Etymology for predation

Middle English predacion, from Latin praedation-, praedatio, from praedari

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Time Traveler for predation

Time Traveler

The first known use of predation was in the 15th century

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Statistics for predation

Last Updated

31 May 2021

Cite this Entry

“Predation.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 17 Jun. 2021.

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English Language Learners Definition of predation

technical : the act of killing and eating other animals : the act of preying on other animals

More from Merriam-Webster on predation

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for predation Encyclopedia article about predation


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