from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition
- adj. Taking by force; plundering.
- adj. Greedy; ravenous. See Synonyms at voracious.
- adj. Subsisting on live prey.
from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License
- adj. Voracious; avaricious.
- adj. Given to taking by force or plundering.
- adj. Subsisting off live prey.
from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English
- adj. Given to plunder; disposed or accustomed to seize by violence; seizing by force.
- adj. Accustomed to seize food; subsisting on prey, or animals seized by violence
- adj. Avaricious; grasping; extortionate; also, greedy; ravenous; voracious
from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia
- Of a grasping habit or disposition; given to seizing for plunder or the satisfaction of greed, or obtaining wrongfully or by extortion; predatory; extortionate: as, a rapacious usurer; specifically, of animals, subsisting by capture of living prey; raptorial; predaceous: as, rapacious birds or fishes.
- Of a grasping nature or character; characterized by rapacity; immoderately exacting; extortionate: as, a rapacious disposition; rapacious demands.
- Synonyms Rapacious, Ravenous, Voracious. Rapacious, literally disposed to seize, may note, as the others do not, a distinctive characteristic of certain classes of animals; the tiger is a rapacious animal, but often not ravenous or voracious. Ravenous implies hunger of an extreme sort, shown in eagerness to eat. Voracious means that one eats or is disposed to eat a great deal, without reference to the degree of hunger: a glutton is voracious. Samuel Johnson tended to be a voracious eater, because in his early life he had often gone hungry till be was ravenous.
from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.
- adj. excessively greedy and grasping
- adj. devouring or craving food in great quantities
- adj. living by preying on other animals especially by catching living prey
From Latin rapāx, rapāc-, from rapere, to seize; see rep- in Indo-European roots.(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
Perhaps from rapacity + -ous, in any case ultimately from Latin rapax ("grasping, greedy"). (Wiktionary)