Definition of depredation in English:



  • An act of attacking or plundering.

    ‘protecting grain from the depredations of rats and mice’
    • ‘They preyed on roe deer, red deer, and wild boar, but were also much loathed and dreaded for their depredations against livestock, especially sheep.’
    • ‘Property rather than the people themselves were the victims of his depredations but his attacks were aimed just as much at the civil will as the morale of Confederate soldiers.’
    • ‘For years, the gardens have been suffering from the depredations of the little pests.’
    • ‘The high casualty rate among smaller birds can be partly attributed to the depredations of their natural predators, the sparrow hawk and kestrel.’
    • ‘Also at risk, as much from further delays as from the operations themselves, is the supply of humanitarian aid to the refugees who are already suffering from the depredations of the attacks.’
    • ‘The insurrectionists that we have oft complained of late have grown more bold in their depredations, attacking ever nearer to our palace.’
    • ‘Livestock can be insured against leopard depredations, so losses can be compensated.’
    • ‘The otter is supposed to have been in the district for some time, for depredations that are now being laid to his charge have been going on for some considerable period.’
    • ‘There is an old theory which says that populations which are the most under-privileged and suffer most from the depredations of poverty are most likely to see war against an external enemy as an antidote and a release.’
    • ‘What are we going to do to defend ourselves from illegal civil liberties depredations?’
    • ‘Of course, his method of limiting the depredations of crime upon society differed dramatically from ours.’
    • ‘Into this special domain went winter coats and wool items to be protected against the depredations of moths, silver fish, and their ilk.’
    • ‘Always, always in war there were too few of heroic stature, to counter the depredations of tyrants and monsters.’
    • ‘Despite protective laws and natural - park status, the depredations continued.’
    • ‘Another way is to control deer depredations passively, with deer-proof fencing or the planting of ornamental plants unpalatable to deer.’
    • ‘Remember how, in response to the depredations of bandits, the villagers hired as protectors seven itinerant warriors.’
    • ‘Forget the background of the two, forget their previous depredations and concentrate only on the trial and its end result.’
    • ‘The gangs are reported to have used racial taunts during their depredations.’
    • ‘Not all things disappear with dramatic suddenness and it might be decades before the various depredations to which wild life is exposed begin to have a noticeable effect.’
    • ‘Then the victims of our depredations worldwide need to believe and participate in the making of a better world for them and us.’
    plundering, plunder, looting, pillaging, robbing, robbery, raiding, ravaging, sacking, sack, ransacking, devastation, laying waste, wreckage, destruction, damage
    ravages, raids, acts of destruction
    despoiling, despoliation, rape, rapine, ravin
    spoliation, reaving
    View synonyms


Late 15th century (in the sense ‘plundering, robbery’, (plural) ‘ravages’): from French déprédation, from late Latin depraedatio(n-), from depraedari plunder.