predatory

adjective
pred·​a·​to·​ry | \ˈpre-də-ˌtȯr-ē \

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

Great white sharks can grow up to 20-feet long and weigh up to 2.5 tons, making them the largest predatory fish to roam the sea, according to National Geographic. Jennifer Earl, Fox News, "16-foot great white shark comes within 'arm's length' of underwater photographer," 24 Aug. 2018 Alaska Fish and Game spokesman Ken Marsh said the agency was investigating to determine whether the bear attack was predatory or a defensive action, such as to guard bear cubs or a food source like a dead moose. Washington Post, "Police: Bear that mauled searcher likely killed Alaska hiker," 21 June 2018 Marsh said the agency was investigating to determine whether the bear attack was predatory or a defensive action, such as to guard bear cubs or a food source like a dead moose. CBS News, "Bear that killed hiker likely mauled volunteer looking for him, Alaska police say," 21 June 2018 Driverless cars, left to their own devices, will be fundamentally predatory: taking a lot, giving little, and shifting burdens to beleaguered local governments. Susan Crawford, WIRED, "Autonomous Vehicles Might Drive Cities to Financial Ruin," 20 June 2018 Because these dogs view cats as prey, this kind of behavior is referred to as predatory aggression. Patty Khuly, miamiherald, "It’s normal predatory action for some dogs to attack cats roaming their backyards | Miami Herald," 21 Feb. 2018 There is something very predatory about a 40-year-old man seeing a 20-year-old kid. Amy Dickinson, Detroit Free Press, "Sibling wants coming-out guide for ‘Modern Family’," 4 Jan. 2018 The United States complains that China uses predatory practices, including outright cybertheft, in a push to challenge American technological dominance. Paul Wiseman, BostonGlobe.com, "US proposes tariffs on $200 billion more in Chinese imports," 10 July 2018 The White House has complained that China has used predatory practices in a relentless push to grant Chinese companies an unfair advantage in the industries of the future, including robotics, electric cars and biopharmaceuticals. Samuel Chamberlain, Fox News, "US to impose new tariffs on additional $200B worth of Chinese imports," 10 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

16 Nov 2018

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for predatory

The first known use of predatory was in 1589

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More Definitions for predatory

predatory

adjective

English Language Learners Definition of predatory

: living by killing and eating other animals

: wrongly harming or using others for pleasure or profit

predatory

adjective
pred·​a·​to·​ry | \ˈpre-də-ˌtȯr-ē \

Kids Definition of predatory

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

predatory

adjective
pred·​a·​to·​ry | \ˈpre-də-ˌtōr-ē \

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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