Definitions

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

  • n. A large bird (Corvus corax) having black plumage and a croaking cry.
  • adj. Black and shiny: raven tresses.
  • transitive v. To consume greedily; devour.
  • transitive v. To seek or seize as prey or plunder.
  • intransitive v. To seek or seize prey or plunder.
  • intransitive v. To eat ravenously.
  • n. Variant of ravin.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. A common name for several, generally large and lustrous black species of birds in the genus Corvus, especially the common raven, Corvus corax.
  • adj. Of the color of the raven; jet-black
  • n. Rapine; rapacity.
  • n. Prey; plunder; food obtained by violence.
  • v. To obtain or seize by violence.
  • v. To devour with great eagerness.
  • v. To prey with rapacity; to be greedy; to show rapacity.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • adj. Of the color of the raven; jet black
  • n. A large black passerine bird (Corvus corax), similar to the crow, but larger, and has a harsh, loud call. It is native of the northern parts of Europe, Asia and America, and is noted for its sagacity.
  • n. Rapine; rapacity.
  • n. Prey; plunder; food obtained by violence.
  • intransitive v. To prey with rapacity; to be greedy; to show rapacity.
  • transitive v. To obtain or seize by violence.
  • transitive v. To devour with great eagerness.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • n. A bird of the larger species of the genus Corvus, having the feathers of the throat lanceolate and distinct from one another.
  • n. A kind of fish. See sea-raven and Hemitripteridæ.
  • Black as a raven; evenly and glossily or lustrously black: as, raven locks.
  • To seize with rapacity, especially food; prey upon; ravage. See ravined.
  • To subject to rapine or ravage; obtain or take possession of by violence.
  • To devour with great eagerness; eat with voracity; swallow greedily.
  • To prey with rapacity; show rapacity.
  • n. Plunder; rapine; robbery; rapacity; furious violence.
  • n. Plunder; prey; food obtained with rapacity.
  • n. Applied in Australia to one of the larger crows, Corvus coronoides.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • v. prey on or hunt for
  • v. feed greedily
  • v. eat greedily
  • v. obtain or seize by violence
  • n. large black bird with a straight bill and long wedge-shaped tail

Etymologies

Middle English, from Old English hræfn.
From Middle English ravin, raven, rapine, plunder, prey; see ravin.
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
From Old English hræfn, from Proto-Germanic *hrabnaz (compare Dutch raaf, German Rabe, Danish ravn), from Proto-Indo-European *ḱorh₂- (compare Middle Irish crú, Latin corvus, Lithuanian šárka ("magpie"), Serbo-Croatian svrȁka ‘id.’, Ancient Greek κόραξ (kórax)), from *ḱer, *ḱor (compare Latin crepare ‘to creak, crack’, Sanskrit kṛ́patē). (Wiktionary)
From Old French raviner ("rush, seize by force"), itself from ravine ("rapine"), from Latin rapina ("plundering, loot"), itself from rapere ("seize, plunder, abduct") (Wiktionary)

Examples

Wordnik is becoming a not-for-profit! Read our announcement here.

Comments

Log in or sign up to get involved in the conversation. It's quick and easy.

  • "The plump, glossy little Eskimo girls with their fish smell, hideous raven hair and guinea pig faces, evoked even less desire in me than Dr. Johnson had."
    Nobakov, Lolita

    March 1, 2011

  • Spy lingo for a male agent who uses the honey trap to entrap women into becoming spies. A spy gigolo, if you will.

    August 26, 2009

  • Ha, I like them! Especially:

    There once was a poet named Will
    Who tramped his way over a hill
    And was speechless for hours
    Over some stupid flowers
    This was years before TV, but still.

    October 25, 2008

  • "The Raven" as a limerick
    There once was a girl named Lenore
    And a bird and a bust and a door
    And a guy with depression
    And a whole lot of questions
    And the bird always says "Nevermore."

    (from Famous Poems Rewritten as Limericks)

    October 25, 2008

  • sionnach, do you remember the scarf file?

    September 8, 2008

  • *nods gravely*

    August 15, 2008

  • *wondering what Buenos Aires has done to sionnach*

    August 15, 2008

  • Personally, I think Professor Hempel could benefit by deepening his knowledge of the work of that eminent clergyman, Thomas Bayes.

    Because, as George Box has famously noted:

    "There's no theorem like Bayes Theoreom, like no theorem I know ....
    Everything about it is exci-i-ting...."

    and so on
    and so forth

    August 15, 2008

  • For those wondering, the poem must be a reference to Hempel's Paradox.

    I thought WeirdNet usually put noun definitions first, but here it's gone for verb definitions—because there are more of them, maybe? Or just because it's WeirdNet?

    August 15, 2008

  • I never saw a purple cow
    But if I were to see one
    Would the probability ravens are black
    Have a better chance to be one?

    -Gelett Burgess

    June 18, 2007

  • Nevermore!

    February 1, 2007