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[vuhl-cher] /ˈvʌl tʃər/
any of several large, primarily carrion-eating Old World birds of prey of the family Accipitridae, often having a naked head and less powerful feet than those of the related hawks and eagles.
any of several superficially similar New World birds of the family Cathartidae, as the turkey vulture.
a person or thing that preys, especially greedily or unscrupulously:
That vulture would sell out his best friend.
Origin of vulture
1325-75; Middle English < Latin vultur
Related forms
vulturelike, adjective Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2017.
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Examples from the Web for vulture
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • To make your fortune, you need the eyes of a fox, the legs of a spider, and the wings of a vulture.

  • It is the condor, the largest of the vulture tribe; the monarch of the birds of that region.

    The Western World W.H.G. Kingston
  • The stiff and crippled hand, with contracted fingers, resembled the claw of a vulture.

    In the Heart of Africa Samuel White Baker
  • The vulture of Greed tears the victim, remorselessly and unceasingly.

  • The shadow of a vulture sailing passed slowly from side to side.

    The Woodlands Orchids Frederick Boyle
British Dictionary definitions for vulture


any of various very large diurnal birds of prey of the genera Neophron, Gyps, Gypaetus, etc, of Africa, Asia, and warm parts of Europe, typically having broad wings and soaring flight and feeding on carrion: family Accipitridae (hawks) See also griffon1 (sense 2), lammergeier
any similar bird of the family Cathartidae of North, Central, and South America See also condor, turkey buzzard
a person or thing that preys greedily and ruthlessly on others, esp the helpless
Derived Forms
vulture-like, adjective
Word Origin
C14: from Old French voltour, from Latin vultur; perhaps related to Latin vellere to pluck, tear
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for vulture

late 14c., from Anglo-French vultur, Old French voultour, from Latin vultur, earlier voltur, perhaps related to vellere "to pluck, to tear." Figurative sense is recorded from 1580s.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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