1. Living or characterized by preying on other animals: a predatory insect; predatory instincts.
a. Living or characterized by plundering, pillaging, or marauding.
b. Living or characterized by the exploitation of others for personal gain: predatory business practices.
[Latin praedātōrius, plundering, from praedārī, to plunder, from praeda, booty; see ghend- in the Appendix of Indo-European roots.]
The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition copyright ©2020 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.
Indo-European & Semitic Roots Appendices
Thousands of entries in the dictionary include etymologies that trace their origins back to reconstructed proto-languages. You can obtain more information about these forms in our online appendices:
The Indo-European appendix covers nearly half of the Indo-European roots that have left their mark on English words. A more complete treatment of Indo-European roots and the English words derived from them is available in our Dictionary of Indo-European Roots.