One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
1A large heavily built crow with mainly black plumage, feeding chiefly on carrion.
- ‘The brain-to-body ratio of crows, ravens and magpies equals that of dolphins and nearly matches humans.’
- ‘The black ravens which you find in the Tower of London have their wings clipped.’
- ‘Common ravens were seen removing whole eggs from five nests attended by female Steller's eiders.’
- ‘The common raven is larger than the American crow.’
- ‘Long-eared Owls usually nest in abandoned stick nests, often the nests of magpies, crows, ravens, or hawks.’
- ‘Put bluntly, these birds, which include crows, ravens, magpies, and jays, can be real jerks.’
- ‘In the Bible, wasn't it crows and ravens that fed Elijah while he hid in the wilderness?’
- ‘Well-adapted to urban environments, grackles, crows, ravens, blackbirds, and jays thrive everywhere we do.’
- ‘The two black ravens perching on the bushes in the center foreground were symbols of death.’
- ‘And out of the trees came great black ravens, hundreds of them, croaking like peals of doom.’
- ‘Her long, dark hair flew out behind her like a raven's feathers.’
- ‘His hair was black, but its sheen was like a raven's feather.’
- ‘Many were bats as large as cormorants; others were crows and ravens, and all were as black as night.’
- ‘The little faeries dived from the ceiling like a cloud of black ravens.’
- ‘He looks straight at me, with eyes as shadowy as a raven's wing.’
- ‘Crows belong to the family of corvids, which also includes rooks, jays, ravens and jackdaws.’
- ‘We might even be able to give the crows, ravens and swallows a little competition.’
- ‘His hair was the color of a raven's wing, and just as shiny.’
- ‘Their island-home always seemed to be inhabited by great black birds - ravens, crows, scavengers of all sorts.’
- ‘The similarity between a night-heron and a raven is purely vocal.’
2the RavenThe constellation Corvus.
(especially of hair) of a glossy black color.
black, glossy black, jet-black, coal-black, ebony, inky, sootyView synonyms
- ‘Her raven locks were plastered to her head in sweat, and she was sleeping soundly.’
- ‘Her hood had been left back and her glossy raven hair had been tied up with a deep lilac ribbon.’
- ‘His hair was raven black, and swayed lightly in the wind, reaching his shoulders and cut in a slight upward curve.’
- ‘Unfortunately, all he could see was the top of a very familiar head of raven tresses.’
- ‘At the man's right was another woman with raven locks and a crimson stare.’
- ‘Do you remember when I was young and pretty, Kant, and had long raven tresses?’
- ‘Misa had her long, raven black hair up in a bun, where it was neat.’
- ‘A tension drained out of him at the sight of those tousled raven locks.’
- ‘She was a tall woman, slim and delicate, with a wealth of glossy raven hair.’
- ‘His chocolate-colored eyes darkened, and a wisp of raven hair escaped its gelled hold and fell across his forehead.’
- ‘She had medium length, raven hair, deep purple eyes, and fair skin.’
- ‘Her once beautifully alive raven hair now hung down lifelessly.’
- ‘With an astonished look she walked towards him, black eyes and raven hair surrounding her face.’
- ‘She had a long sheet of glossy raven hair and graceful neck.’
- ‘His raven mane was kept short on the sides and in the back.’
- ‘His hair was a raven black, brushed back away from his forehead.’
- ‘He had brown hair, not raven black like the two Vals.’
- ‘His wide smile grew even more at the thought of the boy with long raven hair.’
- ‘Her wavy raven tresses were streaked with white, and looked gray.’
- ‘His long raven hair had been pulled back into a ponytail, revealing light green eyes.’
Old English hræfn, of Germanic origin; related to Dutch raaf and German Rabe.
1(of a ferocious wild animal) hunt for prey.
- ‘One is the very fierce passage in The Origin of Species where he talks about ‘the face of nature, bright with gladness’ and yet if you look beneath, you will see things ravening, devouring, consuming.’
- ‘He and the hounds ravening him are amalgamated in one precipitate upsweep of pigments.’
- 1.1with object Devour voraciously.
- ‘But after a while that didn't stop you from ravening down the poison.’
- ‘Your sword has devoured your prophets like a ravening lion.’
Late 15th century (in the sense ‘take as spoil’): from Old French raviner, originally ‘to ravage’, based on Latin rapina ‘pillage’.
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