Pronunciation: (prā),[key] —n. 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.
—v.i. 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.