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

  • noun Any of various large birds of prey characteristically having dark plumage and a featherless head and neck and generally feeding on carrion. Species found in the Americas are in the family Cathartidae, and those found in Eurasia and Africa are in the family Accipitridae.
  • noun A person of a rapacious, predatory, or profiteering nature.

from The Century Dictionary.

  • noun One of sundry large birds, of the order Raptores, which have the head and neck more or less bare of feathers, the beak and claws less powerful than in most birds of prey, and which feed largely or wholly upon carrion.
  • noun Figuratively, one who or that which resembles a vulture, especially in rapacity or in the thirst for prey.
  • noun The Vultur monachus.

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

  • noun (Zoöl.) Any one of numerous species of rapacious birds belonging to Vultur, Cathartes, Catharista, and various other genera of the family Vulturidæ.

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

  • noun Any of several carrion-eating birds of the families Accipitridae and Cathartidae.
  • noun colloquial A person who profits from the suffering of others.

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

  • noun someone who attacks in search of booty
  • noun any of various large diurnal birds of prey having naked heads and weak claws and feeding chiefly on carrion


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

[Middle English, from Old French voltour, from Latin vultur.]

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

From Latin vultur, voltur.



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  • The Vulture eats between his meals,

    And that's the reason why

    He very, very, rarely feels

    As well as you and I.

    His eye is dull, his head is bald,

    His neck is growing thinner.

    Oh! what a lesson for us all

    To only eat at dinner!

    (Hilaire Belloc)

    January 1, 2008