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

Keep scrolling for more

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 The people who live in the Xingu river basin—an area nearly the size of France—are facing an onslaught of rapacious economic forces the Bolsonaro government has to date shown no interest in restraining. Andre Pagliarini, The New Republic, "Bolsonaro Doesn’t Want to Save the Amazon. He Just Wants to Extort the Countries That Do.," 23 Apr. 2021 Farms are battlefields, pitting growers against rapacious pests and aggressive weeds in never-ending, costly campaigns that often involve chemical weapons. Erik Stokstad, Science | AAAS, "Birds versus bees: These species are losing out in the great pesticide trade-off," 1 Apr. 2021 In the Tatmadaw’s telling, a rapacious West could conquer Myanmar at any moment. New York Times, "Inside Myanmar’s Army: ‘They See Protesters as Criminals’," 28 Mar. 2021 There are also lessons for those who think capitalism is merely about rapacious profit. Allysia Finley, WSJ, "Capitalism Is What Will Defeat Covid," 19 Mar. 2021 During that post-financial-crisis surge in copper prices, China began perhaps the most rapacious expansion of construction in its history: The amount of real estate floor space on which construction began rose by more than 40% in 2010. Mike Bird, WSJ, "The New Commodity Super Cycle Might Not Have Wheels," 22 Feb. 2021 Amazon’s rapacious growth and dominance of multiple sectors is an example. Mark A. Cohen, Forbes, "Portrait Of The Customer-Centric Legal Function," 1 Mar. 2021 The result is a marketplace that is noticeably less afflicted by scams and injustices than the typical US experience—and voters that expect their governments to keep overly rapacious commercial forces in check. James Slezak, Wired, "Facebook’s Petty Unfriending of Australia," 23 Feb. 2021 If the rapacious thieves predominate, the industry will end up with ugly restrictions driven by revenge and raw envy. Lucinda Shen, Fortune, "67% of you made more in 2020 than in 2019," 18 Feb. 2021

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.

See More

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

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about rapacious

Time Traveler for rapacious

Time Traveler

The first known use of rapacious was in 1651

See more words from the same year

Statistics for rapacious

Last Updated

25 Apr 2021

Cite this Entry

“Rapacious.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/rapacious. Accessed 18 May. 2021.

Style: MLA
MLACheck Mark Icon ChicagoCheck Mark Icon APACheck Mark Icon Merriam-WebsterCheck Mark Icon

Keep scrolling for more

More Definitions for rapacious



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

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).


Test Your Vocabulary

Words Used by Nabokov Quiz

  • image1676440788
  • Choose the best definition or synonym for the word in bold: "There are some eructations that sound like cheers—at least, mine did." Lolita
Name That Thing

Test your visual vocabulary with our 10-question challenge!


Anagram puzzles meet word search.

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!