One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
1A large heavily built crow with mainly black plumage, feeding chiefly on carrion.
- ‘The similarity between a night-heron and a raven is purely vocal.’
- ‘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.’
- ‘Many were bats as large as cormorants; others were crows and ravens, and all were as black as night.’
- ‘Well-adapted to urban environments, grackles, crows, ravens, blackbirds, and jays thrive everywhere we do.’
- ‘In the Bible, wasn't it crows and ravens that fed Elijah while he hid in the wilderness?’
- ‘The brain-to-body ratio of crows, ravens and magpies equals that of dolphins and nearly matches humans.’
- ‘Put bluntly, these birds, which include crows, ravens, magpies, and jays, can be real jerks.’
- ‘And out of the trees came great black ravens, hundreds of them, croaking like peals of doom.’
- ‘His hair was the color of a raven's wing, and just as shiny.’
- ‘His hair was black, but its sheen was like a raven's feather.’
- ‘The black ravens which you find in the Tower of London have their wings clipped.’
- ‘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.’
- ‘The common raven is larger than the American crow.’
- ‘Their island-home always seemed to be inhabited by great black birds - ravens, crows, scavengers of all sorts.’
- ‘Her long, dark hair flew out behind her like a raven's feathers.’
- ‘The two black ravens perching on the bushes in the center foreground were symbols of death.’
- ‘Common ravens were seen removing whole eggs from five nests attended by female Steller's eiders.’
- ‘Long-eared Owls usually nest in abandoned stick nests, often the nests of magpies, crows, ravens, or hawks.’
2the RavenThe constellation Corvus.
(especially of hair) of a glossy black color.
black, glossy black, jet-black, coal-black, ebony, inky, sootyView synonyms
- ‘She was a tall woman, slim and delicate, with a wealth of glossy raven hair.’
- ‘Her once beautifully alive raven hair now hung down lifelessly.’
- ‘His raven mane was kept short on the sides and in the back.’
- ‘His chocolate-colored eyes darkened, and a wisp of raven hair escaped its gelled hold and fell across his forehead.’
- ‘She had a long sheet of glossy raven hair and graceful neck.’
- ‘Her hood had been left back and her glossy raven hair had been tied up with a deep lilac ribbon.’
- ‘A tension drained out of him at the sight of those tousled raven locks.’
- ‘Misa had her long, raven black hair up in a bun, where it was neat.’
- ‘Do you remember when I was young and pretty, Kant, and had long raven tresses?’
- ‘His hair was a raven black, brushed back away from his forehead.’
- ‘He had brown hair, not raven black like the two Vals.’
- ‘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.’
- ‘With an astonished look she walked towards him, black eyes and raven hair surrounding her face.’
- ‘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.’
- ‘Her raven locks were plastered to her head in sweat, and she was sleeping soundly.’
- ‘His long raven hair had been pulled back into a ponytail, revealing light green eyes.’
- ‘His hair was raven black, and swayed lightly in the wind, reaching his shoulders and cut in a slight upward curve.’
- ‘She had medium length, raven hair, deep purple eyes, and fair skin.’
Old English hræfn, of Germanic origin; related to Dutch raaf and German Rabe.
1(of a ferocious wild animal) hunt for prey.
- ‘He and the hounds ravening him are amalgamated in one precipitate upsweep of pigments.’
- ‘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.’
- 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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