Definition of predator in English:



  • 1An animal that naturally preys on others.

    ‘wolves are major predators of small mammals’
    • ‘Superb predators, these animals surpass all other lizards in intelligence.’
    • ‘Bluntnose minnows serve an important role as prey for larger animals and as a predator on insect larvae.’
    • ‘Common predators of house sparrows include cats and other mammalian predators, birds of prey, and owls.’
    • ‘They are also preyed upon by mammalian predators such as cats, and by snakes such as boas and anacondas.’
    • ‘This is thought to be an adaptation to deter mammalian and reptilian predators.’
    • ‘American paddlefish are predators of zooplankton and prey to other fishes, birds, and humans.’
    • ‘Mammalian predators such as raccoons readily prey on frogs with seemingly no ill effects.’
    • ‘Foxes as predators prey on lambs and chickens and kill native small marsupials and rodents.’
    • ‘These portray a male or female figure with prey animals or predators.’
    • ‘North American river otters are important predators of fish and aquatic invertebrates.’
    • ‘If a pack of carnivorous mammals were to chase a lone prey animal into the tar pits, both predators and prey would become trapped.’
    • ‘I also used domestic chicks with prior experience of both prey types as predators.’
    • ‘This may have made it the most easily accessible prey for predators in the nekton, such as fishes.’
    • ‘The major groups of drilling marine predators include octopods and gastropods.’
    • ‘The two early mammal species were probably predators, not scavengers, say the scientists.’
    • ‘This shielding along with the cryptic coloration of the predator prevents the prey from becoming alarmed.’
    • ‘Because of their offensive odor, skunks are rarely preyed on by mammalian predators.’
    • ‘Pauses may allow animals to increase detection both of predators and prey.’
    • ‘On the mainland they fall prey to both mammalian and avian predators.’
    • ‘The fact is, we don't have good evidence yet what the dinosaur predator / prey ratios were like.’
  • 2A person who ruthlessly exploits others.

    ‘a sexual predator’
    • ‘Without such help, sexual predators are doomed to repeat their crimes.’
    • ‘We all have children and want them to be safe from these sexual predators.’
    • ‘He said young people needed to be protected from sexual predators.’
    • ‘Psychologists have built up a detailed picture of how sexual predators operate on their child victims.’
    • ‘Women in those situations are particularly vulnerable to a predator and a manipulator like Ben.’
    • ‘If only they were cleverer sexual predators, they might have easily got away with it!’
    • ‘In my mind, if what I have read and what I have heard on air, as you've pointed out, is correct, he is simply a sexual predator.’
    • ‘It's the reality that I had to face 20 years ago that there were sexual predators and child molesters out there.’
    • ‘So what should be done about keeping sexual predators from striking again?’
    1. 2.1A company that tries to take over another.
      ‘a defensive move to prevent the business falling into the hands of an overseas predator’
      • ‘It had once been a predator itself, taking over a local rival and, in 1973, the Government-owned brewery in Carlisle.’
      • ‘It is a decent management team and it might be in the predators' interests to keep the team sweet prior to a bidding war.’
      • ‘At the current share price, in an industry where consolidation is becoming a more pressing imperative, don't be surprised to see a predator pounce.’
      • ‘Traders rely on instinct, on a sense of the direction of the herd, mindful of the constant threat of competing predators.’
      • ‘Given its lowly valuation, a growing number of brokers believe that the car salvage specialist is a sitting duck for a predator.’
      • ‘Poison pills are designed to make it prohibitively expensive for a predator to take over a company.’
      • ‘But the Polish, Singapore and American interests might be useful as local bases to a predator.’
      • ‘Granted, there are many who argue that the company is now the biggest predator on the landscape and is squeezing smaller carriers and airports.’
      • ‘A new poll underlines that people want Britain's quoted businesses to be protected from takeover by foreign predators.’
      • ‘Now that global mobile phone sales have started to fall for the first time ever, producers may well have to turn predator in order to win market share.’
      • ‘If the program is meant to protect Canadian publications from American predators, then French magazines should not qualify for the cash.’
      • ‘It still could attract interest from overseas predators but it is far more likely in the short term that Harley will be forced to fall on his sword.’
      • ‘To make matters worse, the once-proud company is being circled by predators.’
      • ‘That could make the business attractive to a larger predator who could integrate head office functions and justify a higher price.’
      • ‘When we limit our children's access to television, we also limit corporate predators' access to our children.’


1920s: from Latin praedator plunderer, from praedat- seized as plunder, from the verb praedari (see predation).