ra·​pa·​cious | \ rə-ˈpā-shəs How to pronounce rapacious (audio) \

Definition of rapacious

1 : excessively grasping or covetous
2 : living on prey
3 : ravenous a rapacious appetite

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Other Words from rapacious

rapaciously adverb
rapaciousness noun

Choose the Right Synonym for rapacious

voracious, gluttonous, ravenous, rapacious mean excessively greedy. voracious applies especially to habitual gorging with food or drink. teenagers are often voracious eaters gluttonous applies to one who delights in eating or acquiring things especially beyond the point of necessity or satiety. an admiral who was gluttonous for glory ravenous implies excessive hunger and suggests violent or grasping methods of dealing with food or with whatever satisfies an appetite. a nation with a ravenous lust for territorial expansion rapacious often suggests excessive and utterly selfish acquisitiveness or avarice. rapacious developers indifferent to environmental concerns

Examples of rapacious in a Sentence

nothing livens things up like a whole team of rapacious basketball players descending upon the pizza parlor rapacious mammals, such as coyotes, foxes, and bobcats

Recent Examples on the Web

Now the question is how far will China’s leaders go in curbing their assertive behavior and rapacious policies. Michael Auslin, WSJ, "Backlash Builds Against Beijing," 30 Oct. 2018 Her version of Nancy is all rapacious appetite, unwilling to curb herself in almost any way. Todd Vanderwerff, Vox, "Nancy, a 1930s comic strip, was the funniest thing I read in 2018," 26 Dec. 2018 This is another reminder that rapacious states can’t support themselves solely with progressive income taxes. The Editorial Board, WSJ, "All the Taxes in France," 7 Dec. 2018 On the bright side, California’s tax on texting should give millennials a lesson in rapacious progressive government. The Editorial Board, WSJ, "California’s New Tax on Texting," 14 Dec. 2018 Why can’t Facebook stop its rapacious march into everybody else’s business by stealing ideas? Eric Johnson, Recode, "Full Q&A: Casey Newton and Louie Swisher on the 300th episode of Recode Decode," 2 Dec. 2018 All these things sort of converged: the joblessness, the rapacious behavior of big pharma, Purdue Pharma in particular. Hope Reese, Vox, "The author of Dopesick on how we’re still failing opioid users," 14 Aug. 2018 In Russia, Boris Yeltsin’s inability to halt his country’s precipitous economic decline or the rapacious raiding of resources by oligarchs eased Putin’s power grab. Sheri Berman, New York Times, "Can It Happen Here? Madeleine Albright Examines Fascism Then and Now," 20 Apr. 2018 But Saarinen finessed the problem rather like corporate architects today finesse the problem of housing large, impersonal, often rapacious organizations in buildings that suggests transparency, openness and idealism. Philip Kennicott, kansascity, "St. Louis’ Gateway Arch emerges with new name, skeptical view of western expansion," 3 July 2018

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

1651, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for rapacious

Latin rapac-, rapax, from rapere to seize — more at rapid

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Dictionary Entries near rapacious

Raoult's method







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The first known use of rapacious was in 1651

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English Language Learners Definition of rapacious

formal : always wanting more money, possessions, etc. : wanting more than is needed or deserved


ra·​pa·​cious | \ rə-ˈpā-shəs How to pronounce rapacious (audio) \

Kids Definition of rapacious

1 : very greedy
2 : predatory

Other Words from rapacious

rapaciously adverb
rapaciousness noun

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Comments on rapacious

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


to move with exaggerated bouncy motions

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