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

  • n. A predatory attack; a raid.
  • n. Damage or loss; ravage: "[Carnegie Hall has] withstood the wear and tear of enthusiastic music lovers and the normal depredations of time” ( Mechanical Engineering).

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. An act of consuming agricultural resources (crops, livestock), especially as plunder.
  • n. A raid or predatory attack

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • n. The act of depredating, or the state of being depredated; the act of despoiling or making inroads.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • n. The act of plundering; a robbing; a pillaging.
  • n. Waste; consumption.
  • n. In Scots law, the offense of driving away numbers of cattle or other beasts by the masterful force of armed persons: otherwise called hership.

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

  • n. (usually plural) a destructive action
  • n. an act of plundering and pillaging and marauding


Sorry, no etymologies found.


  • However, the Department of Fish and Game does issue what are known as depredation permits which allows the killing of these animals under certain conditions, usually when they pose a danger to livestock or people.

    Cheri Shankar: Mountan Lion Cub Poses Imminent Danger?

  • As the pasture in which Black Bruin had committed his depredation was a mile from the settler's house and not often visited except to salt the young stock kept in it, the real offender was not discovered, although it was apparent to the farmer that the heifer had been attacked by some wild beast.

    Black Bruin The Biography of a Bear

  • The wolves have come back in numbers better than anticipated, and ranchers have lobbied for a return of sport hunting, to keep the wolf population numbers down and minimize "depredation"-that's cow-country jargon for "killing cattle."

    Boing Boing

  • Even the "depredation" of private manuscript collections in the

    Tenth Annual Report of the Archivist, Library of the University of Virginia, for the Year 1939-40

  • We of the civilized world are not apt to attach much credit to the latter species of exploits; but horse-stealing is well-known as an avenue to distinction on the prairies, and the other kind of depredation is esteemed equally meritorious.

    Primitive Love and Love-Stories

  • I have a lot of mixed feelings, but mostly, I would like to see some serious depredation on the wolves - to get them back down to the original numbers FWS promised to maintain - not ten times more than that.

    Wolfing One Down...

  • Far be it from me to advocate eating Hostess cupcakes: they symbolize the industrial depredation of anything homemade, the triumph of Big Baking Brother (perhaps in his death throes: Interstate Bakeries, the company that makes them, Twinkies, and Wonder Bread, has been in bankruptcy since 2004).

    Not So Guilty Pleasure

  • Hayek may have underestimated the power of the democratic impulse to restrain the more extreme forms of government depredation, but Hayek never put any sort of time frame on his predictions.

    Tax Cuts for the Rich, Arnold Kling | EconLog | Library of Economics and Liberty

  • I am hearing bits and pieces blaming the increasing bear population for the decrease in deer via fawn depredation but I'm not necessarily convinced.

    success rate in WV in 2009

  • If this is not done, I fear that depredation of pets and humans will continue to escalate as more big cats learn about the easy meals behind the chain link fences and on the walking trails.

    They just said on tv that a black lab saved 2 people from a mountain lion attack in California.


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