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 The move may, in effect, enfeeble America's technology sector and, worse yet, leave the root problem—investigating terrorism, child predation, and criminality—unresolved as wrongdoers flock to alternative products. Robert Hackett, Fortune, "The encryption wars are back on in Congress. Here’s what’s at stake," 29 June 2020 Others trap, neuter, and release cats, but experts say such programs have not been proven to successfully reduce cat predation on wildlife. Rene Ebersole, National Geographic, "National parks are being overrun by invasive species," 24 June 2020 And that’s why knowing the areas that are most subject to predation can be helpful information. Andrea Thompson, Scientific American, "Black Birders Call Out Racism, Say Nature Should Be For Everyone," 5 June 2020 And, perhaps, the law and regulatory bodies should respond in kind to protect consumers and workers from this kind of economic predation. Jacob Silverman, The New Republic, "The End of the Backlash to Big Tech," 28 May 2020 This year’s awardees, judged by renowned nature photographers Suzi Eszterhas, Tony Wu, and Sophie Stafford, include stories of adaptation, predation, human sentinels, and as always, climate change. Popular Science, "Twelve powerful images to remind us how weird and wild the world is," 13 May 2020 Fewer wolves should have a positive effect on caribou predation, right? John Schandelmeier, Anchorage Daily News, "With calves about to drop, Nelchina caribou are moving late and through deep snow," 9 May 2020 Instead, her team strove to establish a pattern of predation, putting four additional women on the stand who told similar stories of rape or abuse by Mr. Weinstein. Jodi Kantor, New York Times, "With Weinstein Conviction, Jury Delivers a Verdict on #MeToo," 24 Feb. 2020 The Nelchina herd population crash of the late 1960s was attributed to predation by Bergerud and Ballard (1988). John Schandelmeier, Anchorage Daily News, "With calves about to drop, Nelchina caribou are moving late and through deep snow," 9 May 2020

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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Last Updated

5 Jul 2020

Cite this Entry

“Predation.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 5 Jul. 2020.

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How to pronounce predation (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of predation

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

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Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with predation Encyclopedia article about predation

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