rapacious

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English[edit]

Etymology[edit]

Perhaps from rapacity + -ous, in any case ultimately from Latin rapax (grasping, greedy).

Pronunciation[edit]

Adjective[edit]

rapacious (comparative more rapacious, superlative most rapacious)

  1. Voracious; avaricious.
  2. Given to taking by force or plundering; aggressively greedy.
    • 1910, Niccolò Machiavelli (translated by Ninian Hill Thomson), The Prince, Chapter XIX:
      A Prince [...] sooner becomes hated by being rapacious and by interfering with the property and with the women of his subjects, than in any other way.
  3. (of an animal, usually a bird) Subsisting off live prey.
    • 1827, James Fenimore Cooper, The Prairie, Chapter XIII:
      Even the rapacious birds appeared to comprehend the nature of the ceremony, for [...] they once more began to make their airy circuits above the place [...]

Usage notes[edit]

  • The use of this term for animals other than birds is dated.

Synonyms[edit]

Related terms[edit]

Translations[edit]