1. a sudden assault or attack, as upon something to be seized or suppressed: a police raid on a gambling ring.
  2. Military. a sudden attack on the enemy, as by air or by a small land force.
  3. a vigorous, large-scale effort to lure away a competitor's employees, members, etc.
  4. Finance. a concerted attempt of speculators to force stock prices down.
verb (used with object)
  1. to make a raid on.
  2. to steal from; loot: a worry that the investment fund is being raided.
  3. to entice away from another: Large companies are raiding key personnel from smaller companies.
  4. to indulge oneself by taking from, especially in order to eat: raiding the cookie jar.
verb (used without object)
  1. to engage in a raid.

Origin of raid

1375–1425; Middle English (north and Scots) ra(i)de, Old English rād expedition, literally, a riding; doublet of road
Related formscoun·ter·raid, noun, verbun·raid·ed, adjective

Synonyms for raid Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

British Dictionary definitions for counterraid


  1. a sudden surprise attackan air raid
  2. a surprise visit by police searching for criminals or illicit goodsa fraud-squad raid
  3. See also bear raid, dawn raid
  1. to make a raid against (a person, thing, etc)
  2. to sneak into (a place) in order to take something, steal, etcraiding the larder
Derived Formsraider, noun

Word Origin for raid

C15: Scottish dialect, from Old English rād military expedition; see road
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

Word Origin and History for counterraid



early 15c., "mounted military expedition," Scottish and northern English form of rade "a riding, journey," from Old English rad "a riding, ride, expedition, journey; raid," (see road). The word died out by 17c., but was revived by Scott ("The Lay of the Last Minstrel," 1805), ("Rob Roy," 1818), with extended sense of "attack, foray."



"take part in a raid," 1785 (implied in raiding), from raid (n.). Related: Raided; raiding. Cf. raider.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper