Prey n. Anything, as goods, etc., taken or got by violence; anything taken by force from an enemy in war; spoil; booty; plunder.
And they brought the captives, and the prey, and the spoil, unto Moses, and Eleazar the priest. --Num. xxxi. 12.
2. That which is or may be seized by animals or birds to be devoured; hence, a person given up as a victim.
The old lion perisheth for lack of prey. --Job iv. ii.
Already sees herself the monster's prey. --Dryden.
3. The act of devouring other creatures; ravage.
Hog in sloth, fox in stealth, . . . lion in prey. --Shak.
Beast of prey, a carnivorous animal; one that feeds on the flesh of other animals.
Prey v. i. [imp. & p. p. Preyed p. pr. & vb. n. Preying.] To take booty; to gather spoil; to ravage; to take food by violence.
More pity that the eagle should be mewed,
While kites and buzzards prey at liberty. --Shak.
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.
n 1: a person who is the aim of an attack (especially a victim of
ridicule or exploitation) by some hostile person or
influence; "he fell prey to muggers"; "everyone was fair
game"; "the target of a manhunt" [syn: quarry, target,
2: animal hunted or caught for food [syn: quarry]
v 1: profit from in an exploitatory manner; "He feeds on her
insecurity" [syn: feed]
2: prey on or hunt for; "These mammals predate certain eggs"
[syn: raven, predate]