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

Keep scrolling for more

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

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 Sure enough, Mulvaney, who opposed it from the start, has begun to weaken safeguards against predatory financial activity. Kimberly Harrington, The New Yorker, "The Dangers of Undoing Dodd-Frank," 24 July 2017 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

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.

See More

First Known Use of predatory

1589, in the meaning defined at sense 1a

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about predatory

Statistics for predatory

Last Updated

28 Dec 2018

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for predatory

The first known use of predatory was in 1589

See more words from the same year

Keep scrolling for more

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

Keep scrolling for more

Comments on predatory

What made you want to look up predatory? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).

WORD OF THE DAY

someone who never drinks alcohol

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Homophone Quiz

  • three-bears-two-of-them-look-like-theyre-whispering-to-a-third-bear-who-looks-chuffed-to-be-the-center-of-attention
  • In order to judge how people felt, the senator's office hired a firm to take a ______.
How Strong Is Your Vocabulary?

Test your vocabulary with our 10-question quiz!

TAKE THE QUIZ
Citation

Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.

TAKE THE QUIZ

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!