vul·​ture | \ˈvəl-chər \

Definition of vulture 

1 : any of various large birds (families Accipitridae and Cathartidae) that are related to the hawks, eagles, and falcons but have weaker claws and the head usually naked and that subsist chiefly or entirely on carrion

2 : a rapacious or predatory person

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Other Words from vulture

vulturish \ˈvəl-​chə-​rish \ adjective

Synonyms & Antonyms for vulture


bloodsucker, buzzard, harpy, kite, predator, shark, vampire, wolf



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Examples of vulture in a Sentence

As soon as they learned of his arrest, the media vultures started circling. noted that the paparazzi are vultures who could not exist without the connivance of the tabloid-buying public

Recent Examples on the Web

Eugène is essentially paid to be a culture vulture. Hannah Seligson, Town & Country, "This Paris Hotel's Art Concierge Provides the Ultimate Insider Travel Experience," 9 Aug. 2018 Jenny Koch, the zoo's marketing director, said a vulture and a duck were killed by the hail. Travis Fedschun, Fox News, "Colorado hail storm kills 2 animals at zoo, injures 14 people," 7 Aug. 2018 Finally Crosses the Pond The newest requirement for the arsenal of an aspiring New York culture vulture? Rachel Mosely, Town & Country, "The 1% Daily," 17 Apr. 2014 Stray dogs and groups of vultures dot the landscape scavenging the frozen carcasses. Max Baring, The Christian Science Monitor, "Mongolian herders leave nomadic lifestyle for the city," 3 May 2018 Late-night comedians pecked at the news like vultures on carrion. Michael J. Mooney, Popular Mechanics, "Is RadioShack Back?," 1 Apr. 2016 While West has managed to quash expectations with his sturdy work ethic, his eccentricity is what always allows him to stand out in a room full of vultures. Carl Lamarre, Billboard, "Kanye West Receives Autographed Dennis Rodman Jersey, Calls Him 'One of His Biggest Inspirations'," 10 July 2018 Suddenly the vulture on the album artwork seems a little more disturbing. Paige Williams, Billboard, "Twenty One Pilots' 'Trench': Decoding the Clues They've Left About Their New Album," 12 July 2018 Thais Caraganis, a volunteer and intern at the center, said vulture populations are declining in both India and Africa. Annie Gentile, Courant Community, "Horizon Wings Celebrates Earth Day," 8 May 2018

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

14th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for vulture

Middle English vultur, from Anglo-French, from Latin

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Statistics for vulture

Last Updated

11 Dec 2018

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Time Traveler for vulture

The first known use of vulture was in the 14th century

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English Language Learners Definition of vulture

: any one of several large birds that eat dead animals and have a small and featherless head

: a person who tries to take advantage of someone who is in a very bad situation


vul·​ture | \ˈvəl-chər \

Kids Definition of vulture

: a large bird related to the hawks and eagles that has a head bare of feathers and feeds mostly on dead animals

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Comments on vulture

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


a soft lustrous wool fabric with mohair

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