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 Apple reportedly gave its immersive engineers additional incentives to protect them from predation. Charlie Fink, Forbes, 30 Apr. 2022 Another advantage is escaping predation — no one can eat the biggest fish in a pond. Sumeet Kulkarni, Los Angeles Times, 23 June 2022 Other lists have also been subject to dispute, in part because there was no agreement on precisely how to define predation. Naomi Oreskes, Scientific American, 14 May 2022 Fifty pregnant Idaho beef cows from a herd that had experienced wolf predation were mixed with fifty cows that had not. Paige Williams, The New Yorker, 28 Mar. 2022 Shark predation of a seal off Race Point this afternoon. Globe Staff,, 29 June 2022 Some environmental groups disagree, calling the move premature as the river's plunge heightens predation danger. Brittany Peterson And John Flesher, USA TODAY, 15 June 2022 Some environmental groups disagree, calling the move premature as the river's plunge heightens predation danger. CBS News, 15 June 2022 Scientists say the alewife decline is due to both top-down effects (predation by trout and salmon) and bottom-up effects(a decrease in the amount of food available, principally because it has been filtered out by invasive zebra and quagga mussels). Paul A. Smith, Journal Sentinel, 8 June 2022 See More

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.

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

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predation pressure

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Last Updated

11 Aug 2022

Cite this Entry

“Predation.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 18 Aug. 2022.

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