raven

noun
ra·​ven | \ ˈrā-vən How to pronounce raven (audio) \

Definition of raven

 (Entry 1 of 3)

: 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

raven

adjective

Definition of raven (Entry 2 of 3)

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

raven

verb
rav·​en | \ ˈra-vən How to pronounce raven (audio) \
ravened; ravening\ ˈra-​və-​niŋ How to pronounce ravening (audio) , ˈrav-​niŋ \

Definition of raven (Entry 3 of 3)

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 resourcesNew Yorker

Illustration of raven

Illustration of raven

Noun

In the meaning defined above

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Other Words from raven

Verb

ravener \ ˈra-​və-​nər How to pronounce ravener (audio) , ˈrav-​nər \ noun

Synonyms & Antonyms for raven

Synonyms: Adjective

black, ebony, pitch-black, pitch-dark, pitchy, sable

Synonyms: Verb

bolt, cram, devour, glut [archaic], gobble, gorge, gormandize, gulp, ingurgitate, inhale, scarf, scoff, slop, wolf

Antonyms: Adjective

white

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Examples of raven in a Sentence

Adjective

a black satin dress that matches her silky, raven hair

Verb

the rat ravened the poisoned bait just as we had hoped

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

Mixed media focusing on ravens and other animals by Anna Morgenthaler. Anchorage Daily News, "Here is what you can expect for First Friday this week," 6 June 2019 And in every capture, MacDowell's raven mane dominated the frame, proof that curls worthy of a Botticelli babe aren't trendy, but timeless. Calin Van Paris, Vogue, "At 61, Andie MacDowell's Signature Curls Are More Timeless Than Ever," 24 May 2019 For example, penguins hunt cooperatively, just like brown-necked ravens. National Geographic, "How penguins show their smarts," 25 Apr. 2019 The image features Ned Stark on the Iron Throne, with a raven sitting right by his side. Lucy Wood, Marie Claire, "The Ending of 'Game of Thrones' Was Hidden In This Season 1 Poster This Whole Time," 24 May 2019 But having lots of shots of ravens flying around wouldn't be much of interest! Lucy Wood, Marie Claire, "'Game of Thrones' Bran Stark Finally Explained What He Was Actually Doing During the Battle of Winterfell," 10 May 2019 The cosmetics queen went classic for her beauty look, opting for a bright red lip and voluminous raven waves. Erica Gonzales, Harper's BAZAAR, "Kylie Jenner's Wearing a Whole Lotta Pink at the Grammys," 11 Feb. 2019 Kim wore her long raven hair down with loose waves styled by her go-to hairstylist, Chris Appleton. Nicole Saunders, Harper's BAZAAR, "Kim Kardashian Wears the Sexiest Vintage Versace Dress to the amFAR Gala," 8 Feb. 2019 In that same amount of time, Leo's hair has gone from wavy auburn to straight raven black, and the depth of his smoky eye makeup varies on a daily basis. Devon Abelman, Allure, "The Rose Opens Up About the Pressure to Have Good Skin in K-Pop and Beyond," 5 Oct. 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Adjective

Needless to say, Jimin's latest raven-haired reveal for the tour provided some serendipity for ARMYs (and a break for his scalp). Devon Abelman, Allure, "BTS's Jimin Just Dyed His Hair Black for the First Stop of the U.S. Stadium Tour," 6 May 2019 The shadow of a witch materializes on a wall, which parts to reveal a glamorous, raven-haired woman (Rachel Oliveros Catalano) in an iridescent green gown. Daryl H. Miller, latimes.com, "Review: A life told in tall tales; 'Big Fish' at the Chance Theater," 12 July 2018 Two other eagles joined in the dive-bombing of the sow while a raven dive-bombed the flying eagles. Anchorage Daily News, "Katmai National Park drama: Bear vs. Eagles," 16 June 2018 The Danish model and actress, 54, gave PEOPLE an exclusive look at the little raven-haired beauty, who arrived safely in a Los Angeles hospital on Friday, June 22, weighing 5 lbs. Gillian Telling, PEOPLE.com, "Meet Frida! Brigitte Nielsen, 54, Shares a Sneak Peek at Her Newborn Baby Girl," 27 June 2018 Perhaps at one point, these two raven species developed distinct appearances, vocalizations or mating displays. Talia Richman, baltimoresun.com, "Two species of ravens? Nevermore, quoth the UMBC professor," 1 May 2018 The petite, raven-haired designer Tatiana Baibabaeva seems to be living a globe-spanning fairytale that will, if everything goes according to plan, soon land her in sun-swept Mallorca keeping shop with her husband. Vogue, "Tatiana Baibabaeva Is Infusing Slow Fashion with Sensuality, One Macramé Dress at a Time," 31 May 2018 That's so not raven (@thicknpetite_) May 18, 2018 Oh... Stephen Daw, Billboard, "'RuPaul's Drag Race:' Gay Twitter Reacts to Last Night's Shocking 'Lip Sync For Your Life'," 18 May 2018 Because Kunis made a major hair change at the 2018 Billboard Music Awards last night with a raven-black, cropped bob and crazy-short bangs. Chloe Metzger, Marie Claire, "Guys, Mila Kunis Chopped Off All Her Hair and Looks Unrecognizable," 21 May 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

Law Enforcement on the Cheap Outside Kiana City Hall, ravens pinwheeled above the trees on a weekday afternoon in March. Kyle Hopkins, ProPublica, "ProPublica’s Local Reporting Network," 16 May 2019 This far from base reality, the haywire way that things go—Rhea’s death, the narrow and fragile window of our moment in all the cold eons, even Little Sister ravening to survive—make a kind of sense now. Smith Henderson, Popular Mechanics, "Olympia," 20 Nov. 2017 There were a few pence to be made in telling tall tales — about the gallows and queens on the chopping block and ravens, too. William Booth, The Seattle Times, "The secrets of the royal ravenmaster at the Tower of London," 26 Oct. 2018 Less dramatic, but no less valued in some quarters, ravens serve to aid in the clean-up of our Alaska roadsides. John Schandelmeier, Anchorage Daily News, "Some words on birds and their impact on Alaska and the rest of the world," 24 June 2018 The series shifts to Oakland, Calif., and its ravening crowd for Game 3. Michael Powell, New York Times, "Rockets vs. Warriors: The Dead Live Again in Houston," 17 May 2018 The penultimate episode of season seven took some heat in terms of the practicalities of travel — the speed with which ravens and dragons could fly between Dragonstone and the realm beyond the Wall, for instance. Josh Wigler, The Hollywood Reporter, "'Game of Thrones' Star on the Final Season: "It's Going to Hit Hard"," 19 Dec. 2017 At their best, these works have been enlivened by piquant details that summon the quirks and ravening egos of predators in power suits. Ben Brantley, New York Times, "Review: ‘Junk’ Revives a Go-Go Era of Debt and Duplicity," 2 Nov. 2017 An adult male grizzly chases ravens off the carcass of a bison at the Grand Teton National Park carcass dump. National Geographic, "15 Majestic Views That Made a Photographer Move to Wyoming," 9 Apr. 2016

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.

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First Known Use of raven

Noun

before the 12th century, in the meaning defined above

Adjective

1637, in the meaning defined above

Verb

1530, in the meaning defined at intransitive sense 1

History and Etymology for raven

Noun

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

Verb

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

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Statistics for raven

Last Updated

21 Jun 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for raven

The first known use of raven was before the 12th century

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More Definitions for raven

raven

noun

English Language Learners Definition of raven

 (Entry 1 of 2)

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

raven

adjective

English Language Learners Definition of raven (Entry 2 of 2)

literary : shiny and black

raven

noun
ra·​ven | \ ˈrā-vən How to pronounce raven (audio) \

Kids Definition of raven

 (Entry 1 of 2)

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

raven

adjective

Kids Definition of raven (Entry 2 of 2)

: shiny and black like a raven's feathers

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More from Merriam-Webster on raven

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with raven

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for raven

Spanish Central: Translation of raven

Nglish: Translation of raven for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of raven for Arabic Speakers

Britannica.com: Encyclopedia article about raven

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