Definition of predator in English:



  • 1An animal that naturally preys on others.

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

    ‘a website frequented by sexual predators’
    • ‘Psychologists have built up a detailed picture of how sexual predators operate on their child victims.’
    • ‘He said young people needed to be protected from sexual predators.’
    • ‘We all have children and want them to be safe from these sexual predators.’
    • ‘Without such help, sexual predators are doomed to repeat their crimes.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘So what should be done about keeping sexual predators from striking again?’
    • ‘If only they were cleverer sexual predators, they might have easily got away with it!’
    • ‘It's the reality that I had to face 20 years ago that there were sexual predators and child molesters out there.’
    • ‘Women in those situations are particularly vulnerable to a predator and a manipulator like Ben.’
    1. 2.1A company that tries to take over another.
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘Given its lowly valuation, a growing number of brokers believe that the car salvage specialist is a sitting duck for 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.’
      • ‘When we limit our children's access to television, we also limit corporate predators' access to our children.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘If the program is meant to protect Canadian publications from American predators, then French magazines should not qualify for the cash.’
      • ‘A new poll underlines that people want Britain's quoted businesses to be protected from takeover by foreign predators.’
      • ‘Poison pills are designed to make it prohibitively expensive for a predator to take over a company.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘It is a decent management team and it might be in the predators' interests to keep the team sweet prior to a bidding war.’
      • ‘That could make the business attractive to a larger predator who could integrate head office functions and justify a higher price.’
      • ‘To make matters worse, the once-proud company is being circled by predators.’
      • ‘It had once been a predator itself, taking over a local rival and, in 1973, the Government-owned brewery in Carlisle.’
      • ‘Traders rely on instinct, on a sense of the direction of the herd, mindful of the constant threat of competing predators.’
      • ‘But the Polish, Singapore and American interests might be useful as local bases to a predator.’


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