Longman Dictionary of Contemporary English homepage

Topic: ANIMALS

Date: 1200-1300
Language: Old French
Origin: preie, from Latin praeda 'something seized'

prey

1 noun
     
prey1
1 [singular,uncountable]HBA an animal, bird etc that is hunted and eaten by another animal [= predator]:
a tiger stalking its prey
2

bird/beast of prey

HBA a bird or animal which lives by killing and eating other animals
3

be/fall prey to somebody/something

if someone falls prey to someone or something bad, they are harmed or affected by them:
Street children in this part of the world often fall prey to drug dealers.
They are prey to nameless fears.
4

easy prey

a) someone who can easily be deceived or harmed:
He was easy prey for the two conmen who called at his house.
b) an animal which is easily caught by another:
Fish at the surface of the water are easy prey for eagles.
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