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Borrowed from Latin praedātōrius.


  • IPA(key): /ˈpɹedətəɹi/
  • (file)


predatory (comparative more predatory, superlative most predatory)

  1. Of, or relating to a predator.
    • 2021 July 3, Phil McNulty, “Ukraine 0-4 England”, in BBC Sport[1]:
      Harry Kane was back to his predatory best after struggling in the group stage, following up his goal against Germany by poking home a superb pass from Raheem Sterling after only four minutes.
  2. Living by preying on other living animals.
    • 1915 December 4 – 1916 January 8, Edgar Rice Burroughs, chapter IX, in The Son of Tarzan, Chicago, Ill.: A[lexander] C[aldwell] McClurg & Co., published March 1917, OCLC 182260:
      The mark of his father’s early life was strong upon him and enhanced by months of association with beasts, from whom the imitative faculty of youth had absorbed a countless number of little mannerisms of the predatory creatures of the wild.
  3. (figuratively) Exploiting or victimizing others for personal gain.
    predatory inclusion
    • 1890, William Booth, chapter 7, in In Darkest England and the Way Out[2]:
      One very important section of the denizens of Darkest England are the criminals and the semi-criminals. They are more or less predatory, and are at present shepherded by the police and punished by the gaoler.
    • 1905, Upton Sinclair, chapter XXXI, in The Jungle, New York, N.Y.: Doubleday, Page & Company, published 26 February 1906, OCLC 1150866071:
      The purpose of government was the guarding of property-rights, the perpetuation of ancient force and modern fraud. Or was it marriage? Marriage and prostitution were two sides of one shield, the predatory man’s exploitation of the sex-pleasure.

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