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 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 bear upon — Bear Bear (b[^a]r), v. i. 1. To produce, as fruit; to be fruitful, in opposition to barrenness. [1913 Webster] This age to blossom, and the next to bear. Dryden. [1913 Webster] 2. To suffer, as in carrying a burden. [1913 Webster] But man is born …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • To set upon — 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

  • 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… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • prey upon 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 upon 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 upon 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 upon — phrasal verb prey on or prey upon [transitive] Word forms prey on : present tense I/you/we/they prey on he/she/it preys on present participle preying on past tense preyed on past participle preyed on 1) prey on/upon someone to harm someone who is …   English dictionary

  • prey\ upon — • 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 — 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… …   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

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