Definition of predacious in US English:


(also predaceous)


  • (of an animal) predatory.

    ‘predacious insects’
    • ‘The study of mongoose prey-killing techniques points to a highly efficient killing bite used on vertebrate prey, even in the least predaceous species.’
    • ‘Superfluous killing has been reported for a diverse group of animals, including zooplankton, stoats and weasels, damselfly naiads, wolves, predaceous mites, and spiders.’
    • ‘These flies do not bite or sting humans, and are considered beneficial, as they are predaceous on aphids and other insects.’
    • ‘Thus, our results confirm theories predicting that isolated, rare, or predaceous species will be lost first from fragmented landscapes.’
    • ‘The ground beetles, or Carabidae, are just one of the largely predacious insect families designed for the job.’
    • ‘Thus, the predacious larvae do not increase in number as a result of resource dynamics.’
    • ‘Similarly, the tiny water flea develops a large protective ‘helmet’ when predaceous larvae of the Chaoborus fly are present in the water nearby.’
    • ‘The predaceous invaders consume the fungus and, researchers suspect, feed the stolen larvae to their own broods.’
    • ‘The last animals were such accomplished killers that they achieved a level of professionalism rarely seen among predacious beasts.’
    • ‘Young live in schools while adults are solitary, predaceous, and aggressive, only coming together to spawn.’
    • ‘Densities of predaceous arthropods were higher on fertilized than on unfertilized trees.’
    • ‘Unfortunately - at least for entomologists trying to classify them - male predaceous diving beetles lack these embellishments.’
    • ‘The swamp eel is predaceous, grows to about 1 m in length, and can survive dry periods by burrowing in mud.’
    • ‘With no parental care the eggs are vulnerable to predators such as cray fish, predacious insects and small fish.’
    • ‘They are predacious, catching with their hindlegs soft-bodied insects, such as true flies and spiders.’
    • ‘It attempts to characterize the predatory behavior of three genera of large predaceous dinosaurs from the distribution of their shed teeth at Como Bluff, Wyoming.’
    • ‘Dorothy McKey-Fender is still writing (on predacious worms, at the moment), and after coming out of the woods, Fender and I visit her at her house in McMinnville, Oregon.’
    • ‘It has, in fact, all the vices and none of the virtues of a predaceous fish ’.’
    carnivorous, hunting, raptorial, ravening
    View synonyms


Early 18th century: from Latin praeda ‘booty’ + -acious.