raid·​er | \ ˈrā-dər How to pronounce raider (audio) \

Definition of raider

: one that raids: such as
a : a fast lightly armed ship operating against merchant shipping
b : a soldier specially trained for close-range fighting
c : one that attempts a usually hostile takeover of a business corporation corporate raiders

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Synonyms for raider


aggressor, invader

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Examples of raider in a Sentence

The village needs protection from enemy raiders. Raiders had emptied the tomb of treasure. He made his fortune as a corporate raider.
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Recent Examples on the Web

After 18 months in the top job, he was ousted amid boardroom discord over payments to a corporate raider. James R. Hagerty, WSJ, "Ronald W. Miller Endured Hard Knocks as Football Player and Disney CEO," 13 Feb. 2019 The Crimson Tide’s raiders of the west coast smell blood — Pac-12 blood. Jon Wilner Pac-12 Hotline, The Seattle Times, "The Pac-12 is at risk of losing its recruiting foothold on the West Coast, and Alabama smells blood," 7 Jan. 2019 What’s left to say about the 1990 tale of the beautiful, charming prostitute and the Wall Street corporate raider who meet and fall in love? Vogue, "The 55 Best Romantic Comedies of All Time," 1 Feb. 2019 Despite the widespread fear of color among men, there are outliers: Corporate raiders readily knot up red and yellow paisley ties, and budding junior executives slip on preppy pastel socks with their loafers. Jacob Gallagher, WSJ, "Why Men Fear Wearing Color. And the Secret to Pulling It Off.," 11 Oct. 2018 So on the first anniversary of the crash this month, a team of 30 Marine raiders and special amphibious reconnaissance Navy corpsmen undertook an 11-day, 900-mile ruck march from the crash site in Mississippi back to Camp Lejeune, North Carolina. Fox News, "Psychologist says Americans are suffering from 'Trump Anxiety Disorder'," 31 July 2018 When American ships were held up by raiders from the Barbary States, Gallatin argued that paying tribute was cheaper than maintaining an adequate defense. Roger Lowenstein, WSJ, "‘Jefferson’s Treasure’ Review: Penny-Pincher in Chief," 19 Aug. 2018 Along with the ancient Greek merchant ship, its three-year survey has located 17th century Cossack raiders, an ancient Roman merchant ship, and more than 60 other shipwrecks. Kiona N. Smith, Ars Technica, "This ancient Greek ship is the oldest intact shipwreck ever discovered," 24 Oct. 2018 Over the weekend, conservationist, author, and Italian aristocrat Kuki Gallmann was shot on her ranch in northern Kenya by a group of armed raiders. Allyn Stewart, Town & Country, "How Kuki Gallmann Became One of Kenya's Great Protectors," 24 Apr. 2017

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'raider.' 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 raider

1861, in the meaning defined above

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Dictionary Entries near raider





raiding party

raie ultime


Statistics for raider

Last Updated

23 May 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for raider

The first known use of raider was in 1861

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Financial Definition of raider

What It Is

In the finance world, raider is short for corporate raider, which is a person or entity that purchases a company for the sole purpose of selling off its assets.

How It Works

Raiders are attracted to companies whose assets have book values that are higher than their market capitalizations. For example, let's say Company XYZ is a shoe company that owns several factories on prime pieces of real estate, has several patents in shoe technology, and owns a variety of other assets, all worth about $250 million today. However, Company XYZ's "New Feet" line has been a bust and the stock is only worth $1 a share, making the company worth, say, $100 million today. Accordingly, a raider might see that he or she can purchase the company for $100 million and the put the assets up for sale, making a cool $150,000,000 profit.

Why It Matters

Corporations that operate for a profit are legally obligated to act in the best interests of their owners -- the shareholders. What constitutes "the best interests of the shareholders" is a matter of debate, but when raiders become involved with a company, the company's managers must be more prepared to defend the decisions they make regarding how they have spent shareholder money. Many investors value raiders' ability to get an undervalued companies "back on track," as well as the fact that when they make money doing so, the rest of the shareholders benefit too.

One of the most famous raider stories involves the $25 billion takeover of RJR Nabisco by private equity firm Kohlberg Kravis Roberts in 1989. The deal was so famous (and so brazen) that it was immortalized by the book and movie Barbarians at the Gate. In those days, many companies used leveraged buyouts to purchase undervalued companies (that is, they would borrow all or most of the purchase price) only to turn around and sell off the assets.

Carl Icahn was a corporate "raider" in the 1980s and made millions buying and selling companies. Later, he became more known as an activist shareholder -- a person who buys a substantial portion of a company's shares and then pressures management to take actions that are sometimes uncomfortable but ultimately in the best interest of the shareholders.

Source: Investing Answers



English Language Learners Definition of raider

: a person who suddenly and unexpectedly attacks a place or group
: a person who enters a place in order to steal or take something
: a person who tries to take control of a business by buying a lot of its stock



Legal Definition of raider

: one that attempts a usually hostile takeover of a business corporation — compare white knight

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More from Merriam-Webster on raider

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with raider

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for raider

Spanish Central: Translation of raider

Nglish: Translation of raider for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of raider for Arabic Speakers

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