beast of prey

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beasts of prey, and their prey


beast of prey (plural beasts of prey)

  1. A carnivorous animal that hunts for its food, especially one that preys on vertebrates.
  2. (figuratively) A predatory man or woman, savagely cruel and ruthless in his or her treatment of others.
    • 1973, Philippa Foot, “Nietzsche: The Revaluation of Values” in Nietzsche: A Collection of Critical Essays, edited by Robert C. Solomon, Garden City, New York: Anchor Books, ISBN 0385033443, page 160:
      Much controversy has surrounded Nietzsche’s writings on the “higher” and “lower” types of man. Is he to be taken as glorifying the cruel tyrant, the “beast of prey”, or did he have some less repulsive ideal? The answer seems to be neither an unqualified yes nor an unqualified no.