One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
1A large heavily built crow with mainly black plumage, feeding chiefly on carrion.
Genus Corvus, family Corvidae: several species, in particular the widespread all-black common raven (C. corax)
- ‘The black ravens which you find in the Tower of London have their wings clipped.’
- ‘Her long, dark hair flew out behind her like a raven's feathers.’
- ‘Their island-home always seemed to be inhabited by great black birds - ravens, crows, scavengers of all sorts.’
- ‘The common raven is larger than the American crow.’
- ‘His hair was the color of a raven's wing, and just as shiny.’
- ‘Crows belong to the family of corvids, which also includes rooks, jays, ravens and jackdaws.’
- ‘Long-eared Owls usually nest in abandoned stick nests, often the nests of magpies, crows, ravens, or hawks.’
- ‘The two black ravens perching on the bushes in the center foreground were symbols of death.’
- ‘The similarity between a night-heron and a raven is purely vocal.’
- ‘Put bluntly, these birds, which include crows, ravens, magpies, and jays, can be real jerks.’
- ‘The little faeries dived from the ceiling like a cloud of black ravens.’
- ‘Well-adapted to urban environments, grackles, crows, ravens, blackbirds, and jays thrive everywhere we do.’
- ‘We might even be able to give the crows, ravens and swallows a little competition.’
- ‘The brain-to-body ratio of crows, ravens and magpies equals that of dolphins and nearly matches humans.’
- ‘Common ravens were seen removing whole eggs from five nests attended by female Steller's eiders.’
- ‘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.’
- ‘He looks straight at me, with eyes as shadowy as a raven's wing.’
- ‘In the Bible, wasn't it crows and ravens that fed Elijah while he hid in the wilderness?’
- ‘And out of the trees came great black ravens, hundreds of them, croaking like peals of doom.’
2the RavenThe constellation Corvus.
(especially of hair) of a glossy black color.
black, glossy black, jet-black, coal-black, ebony, inky, sootyView synonyms
- ‘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.’
- ‘Misa had her long, raven black hair up in a bun, where it was neat.’
- ‘His chocolate-colored eyes darkened, and a wisp of raven hair escaped its gelled hold and fell across his forehead.’
- ‘His raven mane was kept short on the sides and in the back.’
- ‘He had brown hair, not raven black like the two Vals.’
- ‘Her hood had been left back and her glossy raven hair had been tied up with a deep lilac ribbon.’
- ‘She had a long sheet of glossy raven hair and graceful neck.’
- ‘Unfortunately, all he could see was the top of a very familiar head of raven tresses.’
- ‘His hair was a raven black, brushed back away from his forehead.’
- ‘At the man's right was another woman with raven locks and a crimson stare.’
- ‘His hair was raven black, and swayed lightly in the wind, reaching his shoulders and cut in a slight upward curve.’
- ‘Do you remember when I was young and pretty, Kant, and had long raven tresses?’
- ‘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.’
- ‘His wide smile grew even more at the thought of the boy with long raven hair.’
- ‘Her raven locks were plastered to her head in sweat, and she was sleeping soundly.’
- ‘With an astonished look she walked towards him, black eyes and raven hair surrounding her face.’
- ‘She had medium length, raven hair, deep purple eyes, and fair skin.’
- ‘Her once beautifully alive raven hair now hung down lifelessly.’
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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