rav·​in ˈra-vən How to pronounce ravin (audio)
: an act or habit of preying
: something seized as prey

Word History


Middle English ravyn, ravine, raveyn, raven "robbery, seizure of a woman, rapacity, booty, prey of an animal," borrowed from Anglo-French ravine, raveyn "robbery, violent seizure of property, rapacity, stolen property, strong water current," going back to Latin rapīna "forcible carrying off of property, seizure and carrying off of a woman" — more at rapine

Note: As noted by Französisches etymologisches Wörterbuch, the literal meaning of Latin rapīna was carried over into Anglo-French and Picard, but not elsewhere in Gallo-Romance, where the etymon had the sense "violent motion, momentum"; for a further development see ravine.

First Known Use

14th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Time Traveler
The first known use of ravin was in the 14th century

Dictionary Entries Near ravin

Cite this Entry

“Ravin.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/ravin. Accessed 28 Feb. 2024.

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