Pronunciation: (prā), [key]
1. an animal hunted or seized for food, esp. by a carnivorous animal.
2. a person or thing that is the victim of an enemy, a swindler, a disease, etc.; gull.
3. the action or habit of preying: a beast of prey.
4. Archaic.booty or plunder.

1. to seize and devour prey, as an animal does (usually fol. by on or upon): Foxes prey on rabbits.
2. to make raids or attacks for booty or plunder: The Vikings preyed on coastal settlements.
3. to exert a harmful or destructive influence: His worries preyed upon his mind.
4. to victimize another or others (usually fol. by on or upon): loan sharks that prey upon the poor.

Random House Unabridged Dictionary, Copyright © 1997, by Random House, Inc., on Infoplease.

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