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

But whatever social pessimism exists in America set in during a period of rapacious capitalism. Benjamin Wallace-wells, The New Yorker, "John Hickenlooper’s War on Socialism," 1 July 2019 Some crypto investors and executives are deeply skeptical that a company as rapacious as Facebook could ever seriously commit itself to the value of decentralization that’s at the core of the crypto industry. Theodore Schleifer, Vox, "Facebook may have too many users for its cryptocurrency to fail — even if you don’t trust it," 18 June 2019 Endowed with essentially unlimited resources owing to his father’s rapacious corruption, Bandar courted the rich and famous. Daniel Benjamin, The New York Review of Books, "Reckless in Riyadh," 30 May 2019 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

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







Statistics for rapacious

Last Updated

6 Jul 2019

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Time Traveler for rapacious

The first known use of rapacious was in 1651

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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

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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).


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