prey

[ prey ]
/ preɪ /

noun

verb (used without object)

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Origin of prey

1200–50; Middle English preye < Old French < Latin praeda booty, prey; akin to prehendere to grasp, seize (see prehension)

OTHER WORDS FROM prey

prey·er, nounun·prey·ing, adjective

WORDS THAT MAY BE CONFUSED WITH prey

pray prayer prey
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2020

British Dictionary definitions for prey on

prey
/ (preɪ) /

noun

verb (intr; often foll by on or upon)

Derived forms of prey

preyer, noun

Word Origin for prey

C13: from Old French preie, from Latin praeda booty; see predatory
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

Idioms and Phrases with prey on

prey on

1

Plunder or pillage; also, make a profit at someone else's expense, victimize. For example, Vikings preyed on the coastal towns of England, or The rich have been preying on the poor for centuries. [Late 1500s]

2

Hunt, especially in order to eat, as in Their cat preys on all the rodents in the neighborhood. [c. 1600]

3

Exert a baneful or injurious effect, as in Guilt preyed on his mind. [c. 1700]

The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company.