vul·​ture | \ ˈvəl-chər How to pronounce vulture (audio) \

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 How to pronounce vulturish (audio) \ adjective

Synonyms & Antonyms for vulture



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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 Twenty-two other raptor toes found across southern Europe bear similar cut marks: an eagle-owl, a vulture, and 20 other eagles. Kiona N. Smith, Ars Technica, "Did Neanderthals make eagle talon necklaces 120,000 years ago?," 20 Nov. 2019 Quickly, the plots were buzzing with flies, and vultures circled above. Abby Jones, The Conversation, "Rotting feral pig carcasses teach scientists what happens when tons of animals die all at once, as in Australia’s bushfires," 10 Jan. 2020 The carcasses left behind by a wolf kill supports scavengers, including vultures and carrion beetles. Debra Utacia Krol, azcentral, "Competing interests leave Mexican gray wolf recovery efforts at a crossroads," 30 Dec. 2019 After all, turkeys are closely related to vultures. CBS News, "At pardoning ceremony, Trump jokes turkeys have been subpoenaed," 26 Nov. 2019 The buffer zone and its fortifications shelter wolves and vultures from hunting, according to Shmulik Yedvab, of the Society for the Protection of Nature in Israel. Anna Fletcher, CNN, "Wildlife is flourishing in these demilitarized zones," 25 Nov. 2019 One theory that didn't get a lot of attention, Gohde said, was by Robert Peter, a scientist at Transylvania University: vulture vomit. Emma Austin, The Courier-Journal, "Kentucky Meat Shower? Yes, meat fell from the sky more than 140 years ago," 25 Oct. 2019 Pigeons eat leftover seeds, and vultures circle around trying to pick on leftover fish at the docks. Luis Andres Henao,, "Amazon fruits and fish abound at Brazil’s colorful Ver-o-Peso market," 22 Oct. 2019 Pigeons eat leftover seeds, and vultures circle around trying to pick on leftover fish at the docks. San Diego Union-Tribune, "Samba, Amazon fruits and fish at Brazil’s Ver-O-Peso market," 13 Oct. 2019

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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Time Traveler for vulture

Time Traveler

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

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Statistics for vulture

Last Updated

6 Feb 2020

Cite this Entry

“Vulture.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 19 Feb. 2020.

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How to pronounce vulture (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of vulture

: any one of several large birds that eat dead animals and have a small and featherless head
disapproving : a person who tries to take advantage of someone who is in a very bad situation


vul·​ture | \ ˈvəl-chər How to pronounce vulture (audio) \

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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