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

  • n. Voracity; rapaciousness.
  • n. Something taken as prey.
  • n. The act or practice of preying.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. ravenous

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • adj. Ravenous.
  • n. Food obtained by violence; plunder; prey; raven.
  • v. See raven, v. t. & i.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • See raven.


Middle English ravin, raven, from Old French ravine, rapine, from Latin rapīna, from rapere, to seize; see rep- in Indo-European roots.
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)



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  • With tender hours and tempering dew to cure
    The hunger and thirst of day’s distemperature
    And ravin of the dry discolouring hours,
    —Swinburne, Tristram of Lyonesse

    The word is cognate with 'rapine', but I'm not sure of the exact sense here: rapine; or voracity; or plunder.

    July 15, 2008