Predator Meaning: Here’s What It Means and How To Use It

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Pop quiz:

What do lions, tigers, and bears (oh my!) all have in common? 

If you guessed that these animals are all predators, then you are correct! Wondering what the word predator means? We can help. 

Read on as we explore the word predator to uncover its definition, origin, usage, and more. Are you ready?

Let’s dive in. 

What Is the Definition of Predator?

/ˈpred.ə.t̬ɚ/ /ˈpred.ə.tər/

According to the Cambridge English Dictionary, the noun predator can be defined as an animal that hunts, kills, and eats other animals. Our word of the day can also refer to someone who follows others in order to harm them or commit a crime against them. 

In general, predators share the following features:

  • They are usually much bigger than their prey or overwhelm their prey by attacking in large numbers (like ants).
  • Most predators don’t have specific prey and feed on a vast range of animals, which, in some cases, they consume in large numbers. For example, lady beetles can eat a few dozen aphids in a single day.
  • Some predators are specific, targeting a particular prey group.
  • Death to the victim (prey) is usually immediately after capture.

Examples of predators include snakes, lions, piranha, tigers, bears, ants, sharks, wolfs, and humans. 

What Are the Different Types of Predators?

Did you know that there are different types of predators? Yup, it’s true — the most common are as follows:

  • Carnivores — Carnivorous predators (like lions, tigers, and even otters) kill and eat their prey
  • Herbivores — These plant-eating beings include animals such as cows, goats, sheep, and deer.
  • Parasites — These icky predators live inside the body of the host and derive nutrients from its body for survival. 
  • Sexual Predator — A sexual predator can be a group, person, or even business that preys, exploits, or victimizes others (ex: Jeffrey Epstein and Harvey Weinstein).

What Is the Origin of Predator?

First noted in the late 15c., the Middle English predator is a derivative of praeda (meaning “prey”), as well as Latin praedātor and praedari.

What Are the Synonyms and Antonyms of Predator?

Now that you’re better acquainted with our word of the day, let’s review a few synonyms and antonyms, shall we?

In short, a synonym is a word that has the same — or almost the same — meaning as another word, whereas antonyms are words that have the opposite meaning of another word. 

Synonyms of Predator

  • Carnivore
  • Vulture
  • Hunter
  • Beast of prey
  • Animal of prey
  • Huntress
  • Huntsman
  • Tracker
  • Pursuer
  • Chaser
  • Meat-eater
  • Pursuant 
  • Trapper
  • Stalker

Antonyms of Predator

  • Prey
  • Target
  • Chase
  • Game
  • Mark
  • Victim
  • Kill
  • Quarry
  • Non-hunter
  • Underdog
  • Casualty

How Can You Use Predator in a Sentence?

The word predator refers to an animal that eats other animals — or people who act as they do — but how is it used in a sentence? Here are a few example sentences for you to review below:

15 Examples of Predator in a Sentence

“A skunk can survive being attacked by most predators with just their offensive odor alone!” 

“Be sure to steer clear of any corporate predators if you want to avoid your small business from getting acquired.”

“Did you know that the river otter is considered an important predator of fish and aquatic invertebrates in North America?”

“In the wild, there are a ton of predators, so you must be extremely cautious.”

“If you’re thinking about camping in Yellow Stone State Park during the winter, be sure to bring plenty of protection as there are many natural predators that will see you as prey.”

“Some folks refer to predatory people or organizations as predators.”

“The random house on 4th street has been vacant for many years and is now full of predatory animals such as snakes and coyotes.”

“I called the police after I noticed a sketchy man watching a young woman, unmoving, like a predator watches its prey.”

“A child predator recently tried to lure my little one away from the park, but little did he know that my daughter was a black belt in karate.” 

“Grazing animals such as buffaloes are really vulnerable to attacks from predators because they eat quite frequently.”

“The men are both warriors and predators.”

“If you ask me, the best apex predator of them all was the tyrannosaurus rex!”

“The moment John’s business had a slow month, a predatory company swooped in and took over.”

“It’s not recommend to walk the streets alone at night in the small town of Akuba because there are a lot of predators that could easily take your life.”

“Due to overfishing, the predatory fish that once ruled the seas is now going extinct, causing a new predator to rise from the depths of the ocean.”

What Are the Translations of Predator?

Wondering how to say the word predator in a different language? Here are a few common translations for you to review below:

  • Afrikaans — Roofdier
  • Arabic — المفترس
  • Bulgarian — Хищник
  • Chinese (simplified) — 掠夺者
  • Croatian — Grabežljivac
  • Czech — Predátor
  • Danish — Rovdyr
  • American English — predator
  • Dutch — Roofdier
  • Finnish — Saalistaja
  • French — Prédateur
  • German — Raubtier
  • Italian — predator
  • Greek — Αρπακτικό
  • Japanese — 捕食者
  • Korean — 프레데터
  • Norwegian — Rovdyr
  • Polish — Drapieżnik
  • British English — predator
  • Portugese — Predador
  • Russian — Хищник
  • Spanish — Depredador
  • Swedish — Predator
  • Thai — นักล่า
  • Turkish — Predator
  • Ukrainian — Хижак
  • Vietnamese — Predator


When used in biology and zoology, our word of the day refers to an animal that kills and eats other animals — such as a lion, shark, snake, or bear. In terms of business, a predator refers to a company that tries to take control of other companies. 

A predator can also be defined as a person who looks for other individuals in order to use, control, or harm in some way. In terms of war, a person or group that plunders, pillages, or robs can be referred to as a predator.  


Predator definition and meaning | Collins English Dictionary

PREDATOR definition in the | Cambridge English Dictionary

Predator Definition & Meaning | Britannica Dictionary