To prey on
Prey 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. [1913 Webster]

More pity that the eagle should be mewed, While kites and buzzards prey at liberty. --Shak. [1913 Webster]

{To prey on} or {To prey 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. [1913 Webster]


The Collaborative International Dictionary of English. 2000.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • To set on — Set Set (s[e^]t), v. t. [imp. & p. p. {Set}; p. pr. & vb. n. {Setting}.] [OE. setten, AS. setton; akin to OS. settian, OFries. setta, D. zetten, OHG. sezzen, G. setzen, Icel. setja, Sw. s[ a]tta, Dan. s?tte, Goth. satjan; causative from the root… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • prey on/upon — [phrasal verb] 1 prey on/upon (something) : to hunt and kill (something) for food The wolves prey on small animals. 2 prey on/upon (someone) : to hurt, cheat, or steal from (someone) c …   Useful english dictionary

  • To prey upon — Prey 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. [1913 Webster] More pity that the eagle should… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • prey on (someone) — 1. to commit a crime against someone. Police are looking for street criminals who prey on tourists. Gangs that prey upon small business owners in the city s Chinatown may be spreading to the suburbs. 2. to have an effect on someone. Guilt preyed… …   New idioms dictionary

  • prey\ on — • prey (up)on v 1. To habitually kill and eat; catch for food. Cats prey on mice. 2. To capture or take in spoils of war or robbery. Pirates preyed on American ships in the years just after the Revolutionary War. 3. To cheat; rob. Gangsters… …   Словарь американских идиом

  • prey on something — prey on (something) to kill an animal in order to eat it. Spiders prey on small flies and other insects. Seals often prey upon the same fish people are trying to catch. Usage notes: said about animals that kill other animals for food …   New idioms dictionary

  • prey on — (something) to kill an animal in order to eat it. Spiders prey on small flies and other insects. Seals often prey upon the same fish people are trying to catch. Usage notes: said about animals that kill other animals for food …   New idioms dictionary

  • prey on sb — prey on/upon sb/sth Phrasal Verb with prey( ► to harm somebody who is weaker than you are: »It is regrettable that such companies prey upon homeowners who are already experiencing financial difficulties …   Financial and business terms

  • prey on sb/sth — prey on/upon sb/sth Phrasal Verb with prey( ► to harm somebody who is weaker than you are: »It is regrettable that such companies prey upon homeowners who are already experiencing financial difficulties …   Financial and business terms

  • prey on sth — prey on/upon sb/sth Phrasal Verb with prey( ► to harm somebody who is weaker than you are: »It is regrettable that such companies prey upon homeowners who are already experiencing financial difficulties …   Financial and business terms

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