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

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 Another hurdle is federal cannabis law preventing businesses from accessing traditional bank loans, leaving many entrepreneurs vulnerable to predatory financial deals and damaging equity partnerships. From Usa Today Network And Wire Reports, USA TODAY, 12 Apr. 2022 Spotting a non-predatory bear while on a run can be magical, and peaceful, for both parties — if the human party knows how to best react for safety. Lisa Jhung, Outside Online, 8 Oct. 2020 My character was basically a very predatory version of myself. Carrie Battan, The New Yorker, 18 July 2021 Thankfully, SoLo Funds, an online community co-founded by two BIPOC financial services leaders, exists where members can request and fund short-term needs in a non-predatory and accessible way. Essence, 29 June 2021 This line of thinking is based on the idea that highly profitable businesses are always predatory. Sean-michael Pigeon, National Review, 15 June 2021 Even the payday loan industry association testified that that practice was so predatory that it should be outlawed. Lee Davidson, The Salt Lake Tribune, 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, 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, 10 July 2020 See More

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.

First Known Use of predatory

1589, in the meaning defined at sense 1a

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The first known use of predatory was in 1589

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Last Updated

16 Apr 2022

Cite this Entry

“Predatory.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 21 May. 2022.

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More Definitions for predatory


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

More from Merriam-Webster on predatory

Nglish: Translation of predatory for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of predatory for Arabic Speakers


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