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

bloodsucker, buzzard, harpy, kite, shark, vampire, vulture, wolf

Antonyms

prey

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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

The idea, sparking several lawsuits: to see what happens by killing an unspecified number of their predators over the next nine years. Seth Boster, The Denver Post, "An up-close mission to understand mountain lions in Colorado — but is it too close?," 6 June 2019 The findings suggest that prey need just about the same amount of brain power to outrun their predator as hunters need to catch prey. Elly Belle, Teen Vogue, "Study Says Dogs Are Actually Smarter Than Cats," 18 June 2018 The Scoop: The largemouth is America’s favorite sport fish for a reason — there are countless ways to fish for them, and nothing beats their ambush predator hunting tactics. Jordan Rodriguez, idahostatesman, "You know about perch, bass. But you also should try catching walleye, tiger trout. | Idaho Statesman," 19 Mar. 2018 But for many, the lions and other large predators are a source of near-constant anxiety. Christopher Bendana, The Christian Science Monitor, "Uganda's pride: Lions test locals' patience," 27 June 2018 But after that the animals were perceived as pests and predators of livestock. Ted Gregory, chicagotribune.com, "Could there be a wolf pack living in Illinois? Man’s trail camera footage prompts experts to conduct testing," 19 June 2018 The macaques, as of Tuesday, have yet to venture into the bigger pool, not yet sure if pythons or other predators could be lurking in its depths. Sarah Bowman, Indianapolis Star, "New Macaque monkeys at Indianapolis Zoo known for swimming, diving and photo-bombing," 22 May 2018 Wildlife experts counter that the entire coastal ecosystem, including the valuable shellfish, faces collapse without otters and other predators to keep things in balance. Washington Post, "Sea otters rebound but struggle to regain historic range," 18 May 2018 The open water surrounding the islands helps protect the highly vulnerable concentrations of ground-nesting birds from predation from raccoons, snakes and other terrestrial predators. Shannon Tompkins, Houston Chronicle, "Cow Trap Lake Project a success on multiple levels," 10 May 2018

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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Statistics for predator

Last Updated

14 Jun 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for predator

The first known use of predator was in 1581

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More Definitions for predator

predator

noun

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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More from Merriam-Webster on predator

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with predator

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for predator

Spanish Central: Translation of predator

Nglish: Translation of predator for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of predator for Arabic Speakers

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