predator

noun
pred·​a·​tor | \ ˈpre-də-tər How to pronounce predator (audio) , -ˌtȯr How to pronounce predator (audio) \

Definition of predator

1 : an organism that primarily obtains food by the killing and consuming of other organisms : an organism that lives by predation The threadworm is a tiny nematode; its manifold kin include human parasites such as the hookworm, although the lab species is no parasite but an abundant, free-living predator of soil bacteria.— Eleanor E. MacCoby In a new environment, with no predators, an exotic plant can theoretically run riot. especially : an animal that preys on other animals With no large predators around, the koala rarely meets a violent end. — Denis Gray The picture that emerges from my research in a near-wilderness environment is that of the red fox as a specialized predator of small prey (insects, songbirds, small rodents, rabbits), with highly evolved and intriguing adaptations for this type of hunting … — J. David Henry Some spiders and caterpillars mimic bird droppings—an excellent strategy for deterring avian predators. — James Martin
2 : one who injures or exploits others for personal gain or profit Businessmen, he believed, were often predators— Nathan Glick Neighborhood predators found that setting a fire was an excellent distraction for robbery. The burned-out structure could then be looted at leisure …— Tom Buckley — see also sexual predator

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Synonyms & Antonyms for predator

Synonyms

Antonyms

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Examples of predator in a Sentence

predators like bears and wolves The population of rabbits is controlled by natural predators. a corporate predator acquiring business rivals
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Recent Examples on the Web Living in daylight, the butterflies exchanged the drab, brown livery of many nighttime moths for a rich palette of colors, useful for broadcasting amatory signals to mates and warnings of toxicity to predators. Sarah Todd, Quartz at Work, "A new theory on how moths evolved into butterflies is also a lesson in career changes," 23 Oct. 2019 Flynn was succeeded, in turn, by Archbishop John Nienstedt in 2008, who resigned under fire in 2015 after prosecutors charged the archdiocese with having failed to protect children from a predator priest. San Diego Union-Tribune, "Archbishop Flynn, who led St. Paul archdiocese, dies at 86," 23 Sep. 2019 The potent chemicals contained in the milkweed foliage is transferred to the feeding caterpillars and makes them and the adults less desirable to potential predators. Calvin Finch, ExpressNews.com, "Fall blooms to attract butterflies and hummingbirds to your San Antonio garden," 13 Sep. 2019 What about the commitment to keep athletes like Biles safe from child predators - as opposed to enabling pedophiles, giving bloated severance payouts to men who obstruct investigations, removing documents and allegedly lying to Congress? Sally Jenkins, courant.com, "When athletes kneel, the rotten U.S. Olympic regime has no moral standing to object," 13 Aug. 2019 The probe was outfitted with a fake jellyfish that mimicked the invertebrates’ bioluminescent defense mechanism, which can signal to larger predators that a meal may be nearby, to lure the squid and other animals to the camera. The Washington Post, The Mercury News, "Scientists capture historic video of a giant squid," 23 June 2019 Back in 2002, a website documenting the conduct of Ryan and others was a source of information about predator priests in the Joliet Diocese. Ted Slowik, Daily Southtown, "Slowik: A Joliet bishop engaged in sexual misconduct. The diocese still displays his picture in the cathedral.," 13 June 2019 If a prosecutor applies racketeering laws, also known as RICO, against church leaders, bishops and other church officials could face criminal consequences for enabling predator priests. Martha Mendoza, The Denver Post, "As bishops gather, prosecutors step up scrutiny of Catholic Church," 11 June 2019 The provisions to punish them criminally are now contained in the city state’s criminal code, and are separate from the canon law which also imposes canonical penalties, such as defrocking, for predator priests worldwide. Nicole Winfield, The Seattle Times, "Pope requires sex abuse claims be reported in Vatican City," 30 Mar. 2019

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'predator.' 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 predator

1581, in the meaning defined at sense 1

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Time Traveler for predator

Time Traveler

The first known use of predator was in 1581

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Statistics for predator

Last Updated

29 Nov 2019

Cite this Entry

“Predator.” The Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster Inc., https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/predator. Accessed 10 December 2019.

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More Definitions for predator

predator

noun
How to pronounce predator (audio) How to pronounce predator (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of predator

: an animal that lives by killing and eating other animals : an animal that preys on other animals
: a person who looks for other people in order to use, control, or harm them in some way

predator

noun
pred·​a·​tor | \ ˈpre-də-tər How to pronounce predator (audio) \

Kids Definition of predator

: an animal that lives mostly by killing and eating other animals

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Comments on predator

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