[ pred-uh-tawr-ee, -tohr-ee ]
See synonyms for predatory on
  1. Zoology. preying upon other organisms for food.

  2. of, relating to, or characterized by plunder, pillage, or robbery, as in war: predatory tactics.

  1. engaging in or living by these activities: predatory bands of brigands.

  2. excessive or exploitative in amount or cost, as out of greed or to take advantage of consumers or patrons: predatory pricing.

  3. seeking to exploit, victimize, or prey on others: More and more, senior citizens find themselves victims of predatory scams that rob them of their savings.

  4. acting with or possessed by overbearing, greedy, or selfish motives: He was cornered at the party by a predatory reporter.

Origin of predatory

First recorded in 1580–90; from Latin praedātōrius “plundering, marauding”; see origin at predator, -tory1

Other words for predatory

Other words from predatory

  • pred·a·to·ri·ly, adverb
  • pred·a·to·ri·ness, noun
  • non·pred·a·to·ri·ly, adverb
  • non·pred·a·to·ri·lyness, noun
  • non·pred·a·to·ry, adjective
  • un·pred·a·to·ry, adjective

Words Nearby predatory Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2023

How to use predatory in a sentence

British Dictionary definitions for predatory


/ (ˈprɛdətərɪ, -trɪ) /

  1. zoology another word for predacious (def. 1)

  2. of, involving, or characterized by plundering, robbing, etc

Origin of predatory

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

Derived forms of predatory

  • predatorily, adverb
  • predatoriness, noun

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