predation

noun pre·da·tion \ pri-ˈdā-shən \
Updated on: 18 Apr 2018

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

Recent Examples of predation from the Web

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.

Origin and Etymology of predation

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


PREDATION Defined for English Language Learners

predation

Definition of predation for English Language Learners

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


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