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vulture

[vuhl-cher]
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noun
  1. any of several large, primarily carrion-eating Old World birds of prey of the family Accipitridae, often having a naked head and less powerful feet than those of the related hawks and eagles.
  2. any of several superficially similar New World birds of the family Cathartidae, as the turkey vulture.
  3. a person or thing that preys, especially greedily or unscrupulously: That vulture would sell out his best friend.
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Origin of vulture

1325–75; Middle English < Latin vultur
Related formsvul·ture·like, adjective
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

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British Dictionary definitions for vulture

vulture

noun
  1. any of various very large diurnal birds of prey of the genera Neophron, Gyps, Gypaetus, etc, of Africa, Asia, and warm parts of Europe, typically having broad wings and soaring flight and feeding on carrion: family Accipitridae (hawks)See also griffon 1 (def. 2), lammergeier
  2. any similar bird of the family Cathartidae of North, Central, and South AmericaSee also condor, turkey buzzard
  3. a person or thing that preys greedily and ruthlessly on others, esp the helpless
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Derived Formsvulture-like, adjective

Word Origin

C14: from Old French voltour, from Latin vultur; perhaps related to Latin vellere to pluck, tear
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 vulture

n.

late 14c., from Anglo-French vultur, Old French voultour, from Latin vultur, earlier voltur, perhaps related to vellere "to pluck, to tear." Figurative sense is recorded from 1580s.

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper