1

raven

play
noun ra·ven \ ˈrā-vən \

Definition of raven

:a large, glossy-black bird (Corvus corax) that is widely distributed in northern parts of the northern hemisphere but now rare in most areas of the eastern and central U.S. and that differs from the closely related common crow chiefly in its larger size and wedge-shaped tail and in having the feathers of the throat narrow and pointed resulting in a shaggy appearance; also :any of various usually large and glossy black, corvine birds

Recent Examples of raven from the Web

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'raven.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

Illustration of raven

Origin and Etymology of raven

Middle English, from Old English hræfn; akin to Old High German hraban raven, Latin corvus, Greek korax


2

raven

adjective

Definition of raven

:shiny and black like a raven's feathers
  • raven hair

Examples of raven in a Sentence

  1. a black satin dress that matches her silky, raven hair

Recent Examples of raven from the Web

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'raven.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

First Known Use of raven

1637

raven Synonyms

Synonyms
ebony, pitch-black, pitch-dark, pitchy, black, sable
Antonyms
white
Related Words
dark, dusky, inky; blackish, brunet (or brunette)
Near Antonyms
bright, brilliant, light, pale, palish

3

raven

play
verb rav·en \ ˈra-vən \

Definition of raven

ravened; ravening play \ˈra-və-niŋ, ˈrav-niŋ\
intransitive verb
1 :to feed greedily
2 :to prowl for food :prey
3 :plunder
transitive verb
1 :to devour greedily
2 :despoil
  • men … raven the earth, destroying its resources
  • New Yorker

ravener

play \ˈra-və-nər, ˈrav-nər\ noun

Examples of raven in a Sentence

  1. the rat ravened the poisoned bait just as we had hoped

Recent Examples of raven from the Web

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'raven.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

Origin and Etymology of raven

Middle French raviner to rush, take by force, from ravine rapine

raven Synonyms

Synonyms
bolt, cram, devour, glut [archaic], gorge, gormandize, gulp, ingurgitate, inhale, gobble, scarf, scoff, slop, wolf
Related Words
overeat, pig out, swill
Near Antonyms
nibble, peck, pick

RAVEN Defined for English Language Learners

raven

play
noun

Definition of raven for English Language Learners

  • : a bird that has shiny black feathers and looks like a crow but is larger


raven

adjective

Definition of raven for English Language Learners

  • : shiny and black


RAVEN Defined for Kids

1

raven

play
noun ra·ven \ ˈrā-vən \

Definition of raven for Students

:a large shiny black bird that is larger than the related crow

2

raven

adjective

Definition of raven for Students

:shiny and black like a raven's feathers


Seen and Heard

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

Love words? Need even more definitions?

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

WORD OF THE DAY

a ram's-horn trumpet used in Judaism

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Merriam-Webster's New Words Quiz—Fall 2017 Edition!

  • young-plant-shoots
  • Which of the following is a new sense of the word bunny?
Spell It

Can you spell these 10 commonly misspelled words?

TAKE THE QUIZ
SCRABBLE® Sprint

Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.

TAKE THE QUIZ

Love words? Need even more definitions?

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