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 Natural vegetative cover does a lot more than just hide animals from predators. Tim Macwelch, Outdoor Life, "9 Natural Shelters that will Save Your Life," 16 Jan. 2020 Humpbacks have been observed protecting seals, sea lions, and other whale species from the predators. National Geographic, "Parrots help others in need, study shows for first time," 10 Jan. 2020 Fallen trees also create a mix of pools and shallow areas that are used by trout for feeding, reproducing, avoiding high flows and hiding from predators. USA TODAY, "Puppy wins lotto, alligators, mountain lions, Dunkin Donuts wedding: News from around our 50 states," 30 Dec. 2019 But flying erratically away from predators runs the risk of colliding with a spider’s nest, or travelling far from food and mates. Brigit Katz, Smithsonian, "Some Moths Taste So Bad That They Don’t Bother Fleeing From Bats," 16 Dec. 2019 Clown fish, parrotfish, groupers and snappers lay eggs and hide from predators in the reef’s nooks and crannies, and their presence draws eels, sea snakes, octopuses and even sharks. Washington Post, "Surprise rescue of Jamaica coral reefs shows nature can heal," 3 Dec. 2019 Mr Toyama is not suggesting that hiding from predators and regulating body temperature are not also benefits of sand swimming. The Economist, "Some lizards swim through sand as though it were water. Why?," 3 Oct. 2019 Clown fish, parrotfish, groupers and snappers lay eggs and hide from predators in the reef’s nooks and crannies, and their presence draws eels, sea snakes, octopuses and even sharks. Christina Larson, The Denver Post, "Coral gardeners bring back Jamaica’s reefs, piece by piece," 18 Sep. 2019 One possibility is that such games help small animals like rats learn how to hide from predators. Los Angeles Times, "Scientists taught these adorable rats to play hide and seek," 13 Sep. 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

25 Jan 2020

Cite this Entry

“Predator.” The Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster Inc., https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/predator?pronunciation&lang=en_us&dir=p&file=predat09. Accessed 28 January 2020.

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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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