[ ruh-pey-shuhs ]
/ rəˈpeɪ ʃəs /


given to seizing for plunder or the satisfaction of greed.
inordinately greedy; predatory; extortionate: a rapacious disposition.
(of animals) subsisting by the capture of living prey; predacious.

Nearby words

  1. rap session,
  2. rap sheet,
  3. rap someone's knuckles,
  4. rapa nui,
  5. rapable,
  6. rapaciously,
  7. rapacity,
  8. rapacki,
  9. rapacki plan,
  10. rapallo

Origin of rapacious

1645–55; < Latin rapāci- (stem of rapāx greedy, akin to rapere to seize; see rape1) + -ous

Related forms

Synonym study

2. See avaricious.

Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for rapacious

British Dictionary definitions for rapacious


/ (rəˈpeɪʃəs) /


practising pillage or rapine
greedy or grasping
(of animals, esp birds) subsisting by catching living prey
Derived Formsrapaciously, adverbrapacity (rəˈpæsɪtɪ) or rapaciousness, noun

Word Origin for rapacious

C17: from Latin rapāx grasping, from rapere to seize

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 rapacious



1650s, from Latin rapaci-, stem of rapax "grasping," itself from stem of rapere "to seize" (see rapacity) + -ous. Related: Rapaciously; rapaciousness.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper