From French marauder, derivative of maraud (“rogue, vagabond”), from Middle French maraud (“rascal”), from Old French *marault (“beggar, vagabond”), from marir, marrir (“to trouble, stray, lose ones way, be lost”), from Old Frankish *marrijan (“to neglect, hinder”), from Proto-Germanic *marzijaną (“to neglect, hinder, spoil”), from Proto-Indo-European *mers- (“to trouble, confuse, ignore, forget”), + Old French suffix -ault, -aud. Cognate with Old High German marrjan, marren (“to obstruct, hinder”), Old Saxon merrian (“to hinder, waste”), Gothic 𐌼𐌰𐍂𐌶𐌾𐌰𐌽 (marzjan, “to offend”). Related to mar.
- (intransitive) To move about in roving fashion looking for plunder.
- a marauding band
1684, Thomas Otway, The Works of Mr. Thomas Otway, volume 2, London: Richard, James, and Bethel Wellington, published 1728, The Atheist; or the Second Part of the Soldier's Fortune, page 88:
- Peace Plunder, Peace, you Rogue; no Moroding now i we'll burn, rob, demolish and murder another time together : This is a Bus'ness must be done with decency.
- (intransitive) To go about aggressively or in a predatory manner.
1770, “Fables for Grown Gentlemen”, in Tobias George Smollett, editor, The Critical Review: Or, Annals of Literature, volume 29, London: A. Hamilton, page 73:
- A flea out of a blanket shaken, A bloody-minded sinner, Upon a taylor's neck was taken, Marauding for a dinner.
- (transitive) To raid and pillage.
1829, Washington Irving, A Chronicle of the Conquest of Granada: In Two Volumes, volume 1, Paris: Baudry, at the Foreign Library, page 118-9:
- As the tract of country they intended to maraud was far in the Moorish territories near the coast of the Mediterranean, they did not arrive until late in the following day.
The verb and adjective are more common as “marauding”.