ra·​pac·​i·​ty rə-ˈpa-sə-tē How to pronounce rapacity (audio)
: the quality of being rapacious

Examples of rapacity in a Sentence

the rapacity of the Spanish conquistadors was such that they were undeterred by the very preposterousness of the legend of El Dorado
Recent Examples on the Web The rapacity with which Edmund followed his prey is painful to read: To extort money from the merchant haberdasher Thomas Sunnyff and his wife, Agnes, for example, Edmund framed them for infanticide and threw them in jail. Catherine Ostler, WSJ, 24 Mar. 2023 For decades, sustainability efforts have focused on repair rather than renewal; at the same time, technological progress has plundered natural resources with increasing rapacity, and labor costs have outpaced material costs. Longreads, 23 Sep. 2022 Nor has there ever been a time when the link between our rapacity and our present misery has felt as clear. Aatish Taseer, New York Times, 16 Feb. 2023 According to the American Trucking Associations, though, the trucker shortage is quite real—the product of an aging workforce, the industry’s struggle to recruit women, and the ballooning of freight volumes thanks to our rapacity as consumers. Andrew Kay, WIRED, 17 Jan. 2023

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'rapacity.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History


borrowed from Middle French & Latin; Middle French rapacité, borrowed from Latin rapācitāt-, rapācitās, from rapāc-, rapāx "given to seizing or catching things (as prey), rapacious" + -itāt- -itās -ity

First Known Use

1543, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of rapacity was in 1543

Dictionary Entries Near rapacity

Cite this Entry

“Rapacity.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/rapacity. Accessed 30 Sep. 2023.

Kids Definition


ra·​pac·​i·​ty rə-ˈpas-ət-ē How to pronounce rapacity (audio)
: the quality of being rapacious
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