pred·​a·​to·​ry | \ ˈpre-də-ˌtȯr-ē How to pronounce predatory (audio) \

Definition of predatory

1a : of, relating to, or practicing plunder, pillage, or rapine
b : inclined or intended to injure or exploit others for personal gain or profit predatory pricing practices
2 : living by predation : predaceous also : adapted to predation

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Examples of predatory in a Sentence

Hawks are predatory and may pose a danger to rabbits and other small pets. The company made millions for investors but clearly engaged in predatory lending practices.
Recent Examples on the Web Even the payday loan industry association testified that that practice was so predatory that it should be outlawed. Lee Davidson, The Salt Lake Tribune, "Interest on a typical Utah payday loan rises to 554% APR," 27 Nov. 2020 This is an especially problematic practice in the financial services industry, which is already criticized for using complicated jargon that consumers find confusing and often predatory. Kristin Wong, Wired, "How Financial Apps Get You to Spend More and Question Less," 19 Aug. 2020 President Donald Trump quietly ended a rule intended to protect low-income Americans from predatory high-interest payday loans this week. Nicole Goodkind, Fortune, "Trump administration quietly rolls back protections against predatory payday loans," 10 July 2020 The war largely caused by NATO’s expansion continues burning fitfully in Eastern Ukraine, complicated now by the president’s typically predatory attempt to force the Ukrainians to do his political bidding. Mark Danner, The New York Review of Books, "Moving Backward: Hypocrisy and Human Rights," 3 June 2020 Racial covenants dovetailed with redlining and predatory lending practices to depress homeownership rates for African Americans. Hasit Shah, Quartz, "Minneapolis is proud of its liberal politics, but its black population is still struggling," 1 June 2020 But long before the voices of A-listers like Alyssa Milano and Rose McGowan called for women to come forward with their stories, Black women were quietly supporting each other within some of the most predatory spaces of our community. Ineye Komonibo,, "The Back-Breaking Burden Of Triple Consciousness In HBO Max’s On The Record," 29 May 2020 Discovery of keystones The first keystone species ever identified was the predatory purple sea star (Pisaster ochraceus), found along the rocky coasts of Makah Bay in Washington State. National Geographic, "CREATE A FREE NAT GEO ACCOUNT TO CONTINUE READING," 19 May 2020 On the other hand, the system can be predatory, trapping borrowers in a cycle of debt—an argument made forcefully by Elizabeth Warren, who led the creation of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau. Gilad Edelman, Wired, "Big Data Promises Better Deals. But for Whom?," 28 Feb. 2020

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

1589, in the meaning defined at sense 1a

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Time Traveler for predatory

Time Traveler

The first known use of predatory was in 1589

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Statistics for predatory

Cite this Entry

“Predatory.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 20 Apr. 2021.

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More Definitions for predatory



English Language Learners Definition of predatory

technical : living by killing and eating other animals
: wrongly harming or using others for pleasure or profit


pred·​a·​to·​ry | \ ˈpre-də-ˌtȯr-ē How to pronounce predatory (audio) \

Kids Definition of predatory

: living by killing and eating other animals An owl is a predatory bird.


pred·​a·​to·​ry | \ ˈpre-də-ˌtōr-ē How to pronounce predatory (audio) \

Legal Definition of predatory

1 : inclined or intended to injure competitors by unfair means subject to antitrust liability for predatory conductNational Law Journal predatory bidding
2 : inclined or intended to injure or exploit others for personal gain or profit predatory loans
3 : of or relating to a sexual predator predatory assault

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