[pred-uh-ter, -tawr]
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Origin of predator

1920–25; < Latin praedātor plunderer, equivalent to praedā(rī) to plunder (derivative of praeda prey) + -tor -tor
Related formsan·ti·pred·a·tor, noun Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

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British Dictionary definitions for predator


  1. any carnivorous animal
  2. a predatory person or thing
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 predator

1862, from Latin praedator "plunderer," from praedari "to rob" (see predation). Originally Predatores (Swainson, 1840) used of insects that ate other insects.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

predator in Science


  1. An animal that lives by capturing and eating other animals.
The American Heritage® Science Dictionary Copyright © 2011. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.