Definitions

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

  • adj. Living by preying on other organisms: a predatory mammal; a predatory insect.
  • adj. Of, relating to, or characterized by plundering, pillaging, or marauding.
  • adj. Living by or given to exploiting or destroying others for one's own gain.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • adj. Of, or relating to a predator.
  • adj. Living by preying on other living animals.
  • adj. Exploiting or victimizing others for personal gain.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • adj. Characterized by plundering; practicing rapine; plundering; pillaging
  • adj. Hungry; ravenous.
  • adj. Living by preying upon other animals; carnivorous.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • Plundering; pillaging; living by rapine or preying.
  • Characterized by rapine; spent in plundering; devoted to pillaging.
  • In zoology, habitually preying upon other animals; carnivorous or insectivorous, as a mammal; rapacious or raptorial, as a bird; adephagous, as an insect.
  • Hungry; ravenous.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • adj. characterized by plundering or pillaging or marauding
  • adj. living by preying on other animals especially by catching living prey
  • adj. living by or given to victimizing others for personal gain

Etymologies

Latin praedātōrius, plundering, from praedārī, to plunder, from praeda, booty; see ghend- in Indo-European roots.
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
From Latin praedatorius. (Wiktionary)

Examples

  • At the Foundation, we have coined the term "predatory proselytization" to describe the tactics of many of these groups, where vulnerable populations read poorest of the poor are targeted for conversion through coercive means such as access to jobs, health care or education -- access, of course, depending on accepting as Savior the "right God."

    Suhag A. Shukla, Esq.: Fix The U.S. International Religious Freedom Commission or Fuggedaboutit

  • SEGARS: Well, that ` s-- actually you use the term predatory, and that is absolutely what happened.

    CNN Transcript Jan 8, 2008

  • Meanwhile, a prominent group opposed to what it calls "predatory" gambling says colleges would be wise to look this gift horse in the mouth.

    Charity adressing campus gambling seems risky to some

  • Some consumer advocates say these rising living costs have coincided with what they describe as predatory lending practices by credit companies.

    Plastic Predicament

  • The attorney working with Ferguson (ph) says it's not just the mortgage brokers who are at fault for what he calls predatory lending.

    CNN Transcript Mar 24, 2007

  • COLLINS: Lawmakers are threatening possible legislation to stop what they call predatory practices by credit cards.

    CNN Transcript Mar 8, 2007

  • The proper reply to this legislation which we describe as predatory in the sense that we describe the benevolent habits of Robin Hood as predatory, cannot be made by the official opposition which was itself the first to step on the down grade, and which only waits the chances of party warfare to take its turn in providing _panem et circenses_ at the charge of the public exchequer.

    The Cult of Incompetence

  • According to the lawsuit, Carpenter had marched with other demonstrators to the bank to close her account to protest what they call predatory lending and unfair banking fees.

    Reuters: Press Release

  • Some traders, he said, were using what they called "predatory algorithms," whose sole purpose is to exploit a weakness in some other trader's algorithm and get it to make an unprofitable trade.

    NYT > Home Page

  • Stunned cashiers, sequestered behind a translucent barrier, as well as a couple of customers, did their best to ignore Demmer and about 20 activists who barged into the store demanding an end to what they called predatory lending practices.

    Denver Post: News: Breaking: Local

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