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a. An animal hunted or caught by another for food: The leopard carried its prey into a tree.
b. The collection of animals typically hunted and eaten by a predator: the acoustic location of prey by barn owls.
a. An object or victim of attack: ships that became the prey of pirates.
b. One that is subjected to or afflicted with something: was prey to depression.
c. One that is deceived or taken advantage of by another: easy prey for swindlers.
3. Archaic
a. The act or practice of preying.
b. Plunder; booty.
intr.v. preyed, prey·ing, preys
1. To hunt, catch, or eat as prey: Owls prey on mice.
2. To victimize or make a profit at someone else's expense: swindlers who prey upon the weak.
3. To plunder or pillage: Vikings preying on coastal settlements.
4. To exert a baneful or injurious effect: Remorse preyed on his mind.

[Middle English preie, from Old French, from Latin praeda, booty, prey; see ghend- in Indo-European roots.]

prey′er n.
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References in classic literature ?
Both creatures were petrified into the mutual stare that is of the hunter and the hunted, the preyer and the prey, the meat-eater and the meat.
Farmers accused Eric Preyer of mishandling premiums, but the AID found that Farmers submitted no evidence to support the accusation.
Timothy Williamson, "Knowledge, Context, and the Agent's Point of View" in Gerhard Preyer & Georg Peter, eds, Contextualism in Philosophy: Knowledge, Meaning, and Truth (New York: Oxford University Press, 2005) 91 at 101.
The Getty already holds the only documented manuscript by Lieven van Lathem--the Preyer Book of Charles the Bold, a primary reference for all attributions--and now adds one of his most important secular works to its collection.
Robert Preyer has noted in a seminal study of Browning's early narratives that Pauline is not meant to be a rounded character, but a vehicle for the speaker's self-expression: "The focus is on the developing soul of the protagonist; the other characters are there to show forth or articulate that development.
Blackstone in America: Selected Essays of Kathryn Preyer.
at 176 ("As Kathryn Turner Preyer observed, '[A]wareness of the Act seems to have been kept alive chiefly because it must be summoned to serve as the cause of its own repeal in March 1802.
Richardson Preyer Federal Courthouse, 324 West Market Street, Greensboro, North Carolina on February 24, 2010, at 9:00 a.
For those who preyer a different cast or pitch, there are several shims included with the shotgun you can easily install in order to achieve the perfect fit.
On October 25, a Cape Girardeau, Missouri, woman was at the mercy of an attacker, Ronnie Preyer, 47.
Some coordinators may preyer to use e-filing because it simulates today's tax practice.