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

When raiders attacked in the Gulf of Mexico, the captives were rerouted to Virginia aboard the White Lion, changing the course of a nation. USA Today, "Were Wanda Tucker’s ancestors America’s first slaves? A difficult search for answers in far-away Angola," 22 Aug. 2019 The closest call was in August 1865, when the Confederate raider Shenandoah, under Capt. Bill Van Niekerken,, "How Fort Point, protector of SF, was saved at foot of Golden Gate Bridge," 14 Aug. 2019 With public opinion roused against corporate raiders, Pennsylvania legislators passed a bill making hostile takeovers more difficult. James R. Hagerty, WSJ, "Samuel Belzberg, Relentless Canadian Deal Maker and Philanthropist, Dies at 89," 31 Mar. 2018 Home to veterans of the Third Augustan Legion, Thamugadi flourished for hundreds of years, becoming prosperous and thus an attractive target for raiders. Rubén Montoya, National Geographic, "The Sahara buried this ancient Roman city—preserving it for centuries," 30 July 2019 Anthropologists speculate that the ancient hostility recorded by Ptolemy and Marco Polo was a reaction to slave raiders. Alex Perry, Outside Online, "The Last Days of John Allen Chau," 24 July 2019 Most of the raiders were 19-, 20-, 21-year-old youngsters. Cheryl Hall, Dallas News, "Remembering Ross Perot: Orson Swindle says he'll never forget the grand fete for returning former POWs," 13 July 2019 In 1984, the corporate raider Saul Steinberg acquired a stake in Disney. James R. Hagerty, WSJ, "Ronald W. Miller Endured Hard Knocks as Football Player and Disney CEO," 13 Feb. 2019 The soaring price of vanilla has been accompanied by an opportunistic crime wave: raiders rip out whole vines to transplant them elsewhere and armed robbers hold up warehouses. The Economist, "The murky world of Madagascar’s roaring vanilla trade," 5 July 2019

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

12 Sep 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

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).


readily or continually undergoing change

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