Words related to predation

prey (n.)

mid-13c., preie, "animal hunted for food, that which is seized by any carnivorous animal to be devoured" (also, figuratively, of souls captured by Satan, etc.), also "goods taken in war," from Old French preie "booty, animal taken in the chase" (mid-12c., Modern French proie), from Latin praeda "booty, plunder; game hunted."

This is from earlier praeheda, literally "something seized before," from PIE *prai-heda-; for the first element see prae-; the second element is related to the second element in prehendere "to grasp, seize" (from PIE root *ghend- "to seize, to take").

The meaning "act of preying or seizing upon anything" is from early 14c.; bird of prey is from late 14c. (fowl of prey is mid-14c.).

predacious (adj.)

also predaceous, "living by prey, disposed to prey or plunder, predatory," 1713, from stem of predation (Latin praedari) + -acious.

predate (v.)

"to seek prey," 1974, a back-formation from predator, predation, etc. Related: Predated; predating. For the word that means "antedate; pre-exist," see pre-date.

predator (n.)

"animal that preys upon another," 1862, from Latin praedator "plunderer," from praedari "to rob" (see predation). Latin Predatores (Swainson, 1840) was used in biology of the group of coleopterous insects that ate other insects.