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

1645–55; < Latin rapāci- (stem of rapāx greedy, akin to rapere to seize; see rape1) + -ous
Related formsra·pa·cious·ly, adverbra·pac·i·ty [ruh-pas-i-tee] /rəˈpæs ɪ ti/, ra·pa·cious·ness, nounun·ra·pa·cious, adjectiveun·ra·pa·cious·ly, adverbun·ra·pa·cious·ness, noun


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2. ravenous, voracious, grasping; preying.

Synonym study

2. See avaricious.


Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

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British Dictionary definitions for rapacious


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

Word Origin

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.

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper