raid·er | \ˈrā-dər \

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

That is unusual: Centuries of plunder by treasure hunters and professional tomb raiders have spoiled many ancient Egyptian burial sites. Declan Walsh, New York Times, "Sarcophagus Found. Contents Unknown. (‘No Guessing, Please.’)," 13 July 2018 That was why the raiders of the 1980s found troves of pension money that seemed to be just sitting there, waiting to be captured. Mary Williams Walsh,, "Jeremy Gold, 75, actuary who warned of pension crisis," 14 July 2018 In 1916, more than 400 Mexican raiders led by Pancho Villa attacked Columbus, New Mexico, killing 18 Americans., "This Day in History: March 9," 9 Mar. 2018 Why did the raiders keep finding overstuffed pensions to exploit? Mary Williams Walsh,, "Jeremy Gold, 75, actuary who warned of pension crisis," 14 July 2018 Deng was about 7 years old when raiders from Sudan’s Muslim north swept into his Dinka village in the south, killing men, raping women and kidnapping him and hundreds of other boys and girls. Laura Vozzella, Washington Post, "By day, he runs for president of South Sudan. By night, he unloads trucks at Lowe’s.," 7 July 2018 The trailer started with some distinctly pre-apocalypse looking times, with Ellie attending a party—before cutting to her stabbing some dude in the neck, then picking off the rest of a party of raiders one at a time. Brad Chacos, PCWorld, "Sony PlayStation at E3: The Last of Us Part II, Spider-Man, Nioh 2, and unsurprising blockbusters," 11 June 2018 There are roving bands of raiders that, so far, have not graced my new home with a visit. Eric Limer, Popular Mechanics, "A Week in Fallout 4: Building My New Home in the Wasteland," 10 Nov. 2015 The company sent teams of American geologists to explore Saudi Arabia’s deserts, accompanied by Bedouin guides and soldiers from the king to ward off raiders. Stanley Reed, New York Times, "An Oil Giant Is Taking Big Steps. Saudi Arabia Can’t Afford for It to Slip.," 16 June 2018

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

18 Oct 2018

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for raider

The first known use of raider was in 1861

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More Definitions for raider



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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Comments on raider

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


a state of commotion or excitement

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