Definitions

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 5th Edition.

  • noun An animal hunted or caught by another for food.
  • noun The collection of animals typically hunted and eaten by a predator.
  • noun An object or victim of attack.
  • noun One that is subjected to or afflicted with something.
  • noun One that is deceived or taken advantage of by another.
  • noun The act or practice of preying.
  • noun Plunder; booty.
  • intransitive verb To hunt, catch, or eat as prey.
  • intransitive verb To victimize or make a profit at someone else's expense.
  • intransitive verb To plunder or pillage.
  • intransitive verb To exert a baneful or injurious effect.

from The Century Dictionary.

  • To take booty; commit robbery or pillage; seize spoils: generally with on or upon.
  • To seize and devour an animal as prey: generally followed by on or upon.
  • To exert wasting or destroying power or influence ; bring injury, decay, or destruction: generally followed by on or upon.
  • To ravage; pillage; make prey of.
  • An obsolete form of pray.
  • noun Goods taken by robbery or pillage; spoil; booty; plunder.
  • noun That which is seized by any carnivorous animal to be devoured; quarry, as of a raptorial bird.
  • noun Hence That which is given into the power of another or others; a victim.
  • noun The act of preying or seizing upon anything.
  • noun The act of seizing in order to devour; seizure, as by a carnivorous animal of its victim.
  • noun Synonyms Booty, etc. (see pillage).
  • noun Ravin.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English.

  • intransitive verb To take booty; to gather spoil; to ravage; to take food by violence.
  • intransitive verb To wear away gradually; to cause to waste or pine away.
  • noun Anything, as goods, etc., taken or got by violence; anything taken by force from an enemy in war; spoil; booty; plunder.
  • noun That which is or may be seized by animals or birds to be devoured; hence, a person given up as a victim.
  • noun The act of devouring other creatures; ravage.
  • noun a carnivorous animal; one that feeds on the flesh of other animals.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License.

  • noun archaic Anything, as goods, etc., taken or got by violence; anything taken by force from an enemy in war; spoil; booty; plunder.
  • noun That which is or may be seized by animals or birds to be devoured; hence, a person given up as a victim.
  • noun A living thing that is eaten by another living thing.
  • verb with on To victimize, hunt, attack or plunder.
  • verb with on To devour.
  • verb with on To exert harmful influence.

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

  • noun animal hunted or caught for food
  • noun a person who is the aim of an attack (especially a victim of ridicule or exploitation) by some hostile person or influence
  • verb profit from in an exploitatory manner
  • verb prey on or hunt for

Etymologies

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

[Middle English preie, from Old French, from Latin praeda, booty, prey; see ghend- in Indo-European roots.]

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

Middle English, from Old French preie, one of the variants of proie, from Latin praeda. Compare predator.

Examples

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