[pred-uh-tawr-ee, -tohr-ee]


Zoology. preying upon other organisms for food.
of, relating to, or characterized by plunder, pillage, robbery, or exploitation: predatory tactics.
engaging in or living by these activities: predatory bands of brigands.
excessive or exploitive in amount or cost, as out of greed or to take advantage of consumers or patrons: predatory pricing.
acting with or possessed by overbearing, rapacious, or selfish motives: He was cornered at the party by a predatory reporter.

Origin of predatory

From the Latin word praedātōrius, dating back to 1580–90. See predator, -tory1
Related formspred·a·to·ri·ly, adverbpred·a·to·ri·ness, nounnon·pred·a·to·ri·ly, adverbnon·pred·a·to·ri·lyness, nounnon·pred·a·to·ry, adjectiveun·pred·a·to·ry, adjective

Synonyms for predatory

2, 3. rapacious. Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for non-predatory

Historical Examples of non-predatory

  • The occurrence of non-predatory temperament with the class at that stage is to be looked upon as a case of sporadic reversion.

British Dictionary definitions for non-predatory



zoology another word for predacious (def. 1)
of, involving, or characterized by plundering, robbing, etc
Derived Formspredatorily, adverbpredatoriness, noun

Word Origin for predatory

C16: from Latin praedātōrius rapacious, from praedārī to pillage, from praeda booty
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 non-predatory



1580s, "involving plundering," from Latin praedatorius "pertaining to plunder," from praedator "plunderer," from praedor "to plunder," from praeda "prey" (see prey (n.)). Of animals, from 1660s.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper