Definition of raptorial in US English:



  • 1(of a bird or other animal) predatory.

    • ‘Numerous explanations exist for the evolution of reversed size dimorphism in raptorial species.’
    • ‘Rich explained the low relative abundances of vultures and other raptorial groups as consistent with the pattern of relatively low representation in modern avifaunas.’
    • ‘All species are sleek, raptorial predators, relying on fast locomotion (both in flight and on foot) and large mandibles to actively chase down a variety of arthropod prey.’
    • ‘Compared to most raptorial birds, saw-whet owls are a very small-bodied species with high mass-specific metabolic costs.’
    • ‘No one would expect detailed management histories of otters, beavers, muskrats, raptorial birds, and yet the success story of the Yellowstone cutthroat trout is worth telling.’
    predacious, carnivorous, hunting, ravening
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    1. 1.1 (of a limb or other organ) adapted for seizing prey.
      • ‘In addition, they have potent raptorial appendages, with which they produce extremely fast and powerful strikes.’
      • ‘However, its main claim to fame is its armament of raptorial claws, bearing a strong resemblance to those of the praying mantis - hence the name.’
      • ‘Note that the male in the image at right has much larger eyes and raptorial appendages.’
      • ‘The hatchlings have a beak with a raptorial hook that they use to stab host nestlings.’
      • ‘Their lethal raptorial appendages provide effective weapons for acquiring and defending these homes.’


Early 19th century: from Latin raptor ‘plunderer’ + -ial.