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

predatory acts of sexual violence hawks are predatory and pose a danger to rabbits and other pets

Recent Examples on the Web

Back in 2007, Warren argued for the creation of a federal agency that would protect consumers from predatory financial practices. Abby Vesoulis, Time, "Elizabeth Warren Just Joined a Longtime Republican Cause," 4 June 2019 In 2000, it was determined that the company violated antitrust laws and exhibited predatory behavior, specifically towards to Netscape. Matt Blitz, Popular Mechanics, "Later, Navigator: How Netscape Won and Then Lost the World Wide Web," 4 Apr. 2019 That’s the same cap Congress imposed on such loans made to servicemembers or their families with the stated purpose of protecting them from predatory lending. Carolyn Said,, "Pink-slip car loans: Quick cash, high price tag," 21 June 2018 Facebook claimed that Cambridge Analytica misused its information, but the fact that the firm accessed and distributed Facebook data in such a manipulative and predatory way has contributed to the deep erosion of public trust in Facebook. Chavie Lieber, Vox, "Cambridge Analytica used fashion preferences to target people on Facebook," 29 Nov. 2018 Yeah, there were a lot of scenes in that film ... ... Or predatory or silly, but always dead in the end, and tragic. Eric Johnson, Recode, "Full Q&A: ‘Dear America’ author Jose Antonio Vargas on Recode Decode," 24 Nov. 2018 For one, these predatory fish are extremely high in mercury, which poses threats to humans. Rachel Clark, Good Housekeeping, "12 Fish You Should Never Eat—And What To Eat Instead," 12 July 2017 Chuck’s predatory behavior only gets worse as the episode continues, with his assault of Jenny Humphrey (Taylor Momsen). Veronica Walsingham, Teen Vogue, "Brett Kavanaugh, Chuck Bass, and How "Gossip Girl" Portrayed Sexual Violence Within the World of Prep School Privilege," 5 Oct. 2018 Such neighborhoods are also often underserved by transit, which means residents are subject to the crushing economic burden of car dependence, particularly predatory auto lending. Eben Weiss, Outside Online, "No, Cycling Isn't Elitist," 5 July 2018

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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Statistics for predatory

Last Updated

15 Jun 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for predatory

The first known use of predatory was in 1589

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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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