Definitions for: Prey


[n] animal hunted or caught for food
[n] a person who is the victim of ridicule or exploitation by some hostile person or influence; "he fell prey to muggers"; "everyone was fair game"
[v] prey on or hunt for; "These mammals predate certain eggs"
[v] profit from in an exploitatory manner; "He feeds on her insecurity"



Webster (1913) Definition: Prey, n. [OF. preie, F. proie, L. praeda, probably for
praeheda. See Prehensile, and cf. Depredate,
Predatory.]
Anything, as goods, etc., taken or got by violence; anything
taken by force from an enemy in war; spoil; booty; plunder.

And they brought the captives, and the prey, and the
spoil, unto Moses, and Eleazar the priest. --Num. xxxi.
12.

2. That which is or may be seized by animals or birds to be
devoured; hence, a person given up as a victim.

The old lion perisheth for lack of prey. --Job iv.
ii.

Already sees herself the monster's prey. --Dryden.

3. The act of devouring other creatures; ravage.

Hog in sloth, fox in stealth, . . . lion in prey.
--Shak.

Beast of prey, a carnivorous animal; one that feeds on the
flesh of other animals.


Prey, v. i. [imp. & p. p. Preyed; p. pr. & vb. n.
Preying.] [OF. preier, preer, L. praedari, fr. praeda. See
Prey, n.]
To take booty; to gather spoil; to ravage; to take food by
violence.

More pity that the eagle should be mewed, While kites
and buzzards prey at liberty. --Shak.

To prey on or upon.
(a) To take prey from; to despoil; to pillage; to rob.
--Shak.
(b) To seize as prey; to take for food by violence; to seize
and devour. --Shak.
(c) To wear away gradually; to cause to waste or pine away;
as, the trouble preyed upon his mind. --Addison.

Synonyms: fair game, feed, predate, quarry, quarry, raven, target

See Also: animal, animate being, beast, brute, creature, exploit, fauna, forage, victim, work

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