rap·​tor | \ ˈrap-tər How to pronounce raptor (audio) , -ˌtȯr \

Definition of raptor

1 : a carnivorous medium- to large-sized bird (such as a hawk, eagle, owl, or vulture) that has a hooked beak and large sharp talons and that feeds wholly or chiefly on meat taken by hunting or on carrion : bird of prey
2 [New Latin -raptor (as in velociraptor)] : a usually small-to-medium-sized predatory dinosaur (such as a velociraptor or deinonychus)

Examples of raptor in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web More parks to check out this time of year: Yellowstone National Park, WY, for primetime gray wolf spotting (plus elk, bison, deer, fox, raptors…). Kate Wertheimer, Sunset Magazine, "National Parks Will Be Free These Five Days in 2020–Here’s Where to Go When," 8 Jan. 2020 Twenty-two other raptor toes found across southern Europe bear similar cut marks: an eagle-owl, a vulture, and 20 other eagles. Kiona N. Smith, Ars Technica, "Did Neanderthals make eagle talon necklaces 120,000 years ago?," 20 Nov. 2019 Mesquite, paloverde and ironwood trees huddle at its base while raptors and vultures roost in its many nooks and shallow caves. Mare Czinar, azcentral, "Don't be put off by the unimpressive beginning. This AZ hike leads to dramatic red rocks," 19 Dec. 2019 This morning is like most others at the clinic, the Souq Waqif Falcon Hospital, which, as its name does little to hide, is an entire facility dedicated to treating one member of the raptor family. Tariq Panja, New York Times, "Welcome to the Falcon Hospital. Please Take a Number.," 19 Dec. 2019 This year, Hackney estimated it's rescued maybe a dozen raptors, birds of prey, including other owls, hawks and falcons. Frank Witsil, Detroit Free Press, "Washtenaw County shelter rescues owl caught in backyard soccer net," 13 Dec. 2019 That keeps the waterfowl, raptors and songbirds habituated to the slow-moving vehicles and wary to people. Tom Stienstra, SFChronicle.com, "More than 1 million waterfowl star in driving tour of Sacramento National Wildlife Complex," 23 Nov. 2019 Bird lovers of all ages will thrill to see falcons up close and will learn how these sharp-eyed raptors are more closely related to parrots than to eagles. courant.com, "Community News For The West Hartford Edition," 28 Oct. 2019 But not all dinosaurs were similar to raptors -- some were herbivores, some were land-dwelling and some looked far less frightening. Lauren Kent, CNN, "Ever wonder what dinosaur meat tasted like? Try eating this bird," 4 Oct. 2019

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

1873, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for raptor

New Latin Raptores, former order name, from Latin, plural of raptor plunderer, from rapere

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Time Traveler for raptor

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The first known use of raptor was in 1873

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Statistics for raptor

Last Updated

19 Jan 2020

Cite this Entry

“Raptor.” The Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster Inc., https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/raptor. Accessed 24 January 2020.

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More Definitions for raptor


How to pronounce raptor (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of raptor

: a bird (such as an eagle or hawk) that kills and eats other animals for food
: a small or medium-sized dinosaur that ate other animals


rap·​tor | \ ˈrap-tər How to pronounce raptor (audio) \

Kids Definition of raptor

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Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with raptor

Spanish Central: Translation of raptor

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a feeling of well-being or elation

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