1

prey

noun \ ˈprā \
|Updated on: 13 Jul 2018

Definition of prey

plural prey also preys
1 archaic : spoil, booty
2 a : an animal taken by a predator as food
b : one that is helpless or unable to resist attack : victim
  • was prey to his own appetites
3 : the act or habit of preying

Examples of prey in a Sentence

  1. The lion stalked its prey.

  2. The bird circled above looking for prey.

  3. The seals are easy prey for sharks.

  4. Too often elderly people are easy prey for swindlers and other criminals.

Recent Examples of prey from the Web

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'prey.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

Origin and Etymology of prey

Middle English preie, from Anglo-French, from Latin praeda; akin to Latin prehendere to grasp, seize — more at get

prey Synonyms

Synonyms

chase, quarry;

Antonyms

predator;

Near Antonyms

chaser, hunter, pursuer;

Related Words

game;

kill, victim;

beast, brute, creature, critter;

target;

Other Zoology Terms


2

prey

verb

Definition of prey

preyed; preying
1 : to make raids for the sake of booty
2 a : to seize and devour prey
b : to commit violence or robbery or fraud
3 : to have an injurious, destructive, or wasting effect
  • worry preyed upon his mind

preyer

noun

Recent Examples of prey from the Web

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'prey.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

Origin and Etymology of prey

Middle English, from Anglo-French preier, from Latin praedari, from praeda

Other Zoology Terms



PREY Defined for English Language Learners

prey

Definition of prey for English Language Learners

  • : an animal that is hunted or killed by another animal for food

  • : someone who is easily harmed or affected in a bad way by someone or something


PREY Defined for Kids

1

prey

noun \ ˈprā \

Definition of prey for Students

1 : an animal that is hunted or killed by another animal for food
2 : a person that is helpless and unable to escape attack : victim

2

prey

verb

Definition of prey for Students

preyed; preying
1 : to hunt and kill for food
  • The dogs survived by preying on small game.
2 : to have a harmful effect
  • Fears prey on my mind.


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