2 : to engage in plunder
The bear that depredated the beekeeper's hives has been caught and relocated.
"IDFG Director Virgil Moore … talked to the commissioners about possible solutions to the growing problem of destructive elk tearing down fences, depredating ranch haystacks and pushing beef cows and calves off their feed." — The Challis (Idaho) Messenger, 10 Nov. 2016
Did You Know?
Depredate derives primarily from the Latin verb praedari, meaning "to plunder," an ancestor to our words predator and prey. Dating to the 17th century, the word most commonly appears in contexts relating to nature and ecology, where it is often used to describe the methodical, almost automatic destruction of life. That's how the film critic Stanley Kauffman, for example, used it to summarize the plot of the famous horror movie Jaws (1975): "A killer shark depredates the beach of an island summer resort. Several people are killed. Finally, the shark is killed. That's the story."
Test Your Vocabulary with M-W Quizzes
Name That Synonym
What 5-letter word is a synonym of depredate and also a noun meaning "great confusion and disorder"?VIEW THE ANSWER
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