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

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

Synonyms: Verb

Antonyms: Adjective

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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 Play—or scientifically speaking, voluntary recreational activity—is widespread in the animal kingdom, with dolphins, cats, dogs, otters, ravens and even crocodiles engaging in forms of play. Jason Daley, Smithsonian, "Rats Learned to Play Hide and Seek to Help Study the Brain," 13 Sep. 2019 On the world stage, Justin Trudeau is living proof that getting a Haida raven tattoo on your shoulder will not harm your chances of becoming a head of state. Brennan Kilbane, WSJ, "You’re Not Too Old for a Tattoo," 25 July 2018 In optimum conditions during this peak migratory time, participants will see several hawk species, eagles, vultures and ravens. courant.com, "Community News For The Farmington Valley Edition," 30 Aug. 2019 Nantucket had its first August record of a hooded warbler which was seen at Jackson Point, and its third record of common raven which was seen in multiple locations. BostonGlobe.com, "Bird sightings across the region," 26 Aug. 2019 Each staff member was known by a bird name, in honor of the ravens who fed Elijah in the Bible. Katy Hershberger, Longreads, "Losing My Religion at Christian Camp," 8 Aug. 2019 Mount Auburn Cemetery: Observers found an olive-sided flycatcher, a common raven, and an orchard oriole. BostonGlobe.com, "Bird sightings across the region," 19 Aug. 2019 Sunday night’s final episode saw Ned’s son, Bran Stark, the three-eyed raven himself, be named as the new Lord of the Six Kingdoms. Lucy Wood, Marie Claire, "The Ending of 'Game of Thrones' Was Hidden In This Season 1 Poster This Whole Time," 24 May 2019 Tomaselli's haunting, complex images—of majestic ravens and starlings, tangles of snakes, sparkly constellations made up of flowers and butterflies—have all the mind-expanding power of a hallucinogenic trip without any of the side effects. Peter Terzian, ELLE Decor, "Pills and Thrills," 1 Nov. 2010 Recent Examples on the Web: Adjective Then there is the pileated woodpecker, big as an owl and raven black, except for its white wing bars and the scarlet and white head markings. Adrian Higgins, Washington Post, "The percussive appeal of the woodpecker," 17 July 2019 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 Recent Examples on the Web: Verb Not just use tools — ravens use tools, and chimps use tools. John Schandelmeier, Anchorage Daily News, "Being called a ‘bird brain’ might not be the insult you think it is," 29 Aug. 2019 In tarnished silver light the royal ravens spoke la langue verte, the green tongue of living speech. L. S. Asekoff, Harper's magazine, "Sundowner," 19 Aug. 2019 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

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

25 Oct 2019

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
How to pronounce raven (audio)

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

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for raven

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with 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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