beast of prey vs. predator

< Previous | Next >


German - Standard High German / Bavarian
Could somebody please explain the difference between "beast of prey" and "predator? :)
  • compaqdrew

    Senior Member
    English - AE
    I think they are interchangeable. It's possible that "beast of prey" is more commonly used to refer to mammals (as opposed to insects, etc.) but I'm not certain.


    Senior Member
    American English
    Please tell us what your difficulty is in understanding these expressions.

    Have you looked in the WR dictionary?
    beast of prey:
    an animal, especially a mammal, that kills and eats other animals.
    predator: an animal that preys on others.

    Have you checked the "in context" link on the dictionary page to see how they're used?
    beast of prey

    If you have and you still have a question, please provide us with example sentences and context and we'll do our best to help you.
    Last edited:


    English - Canada (CaE)
    Oddly enough, neither have I, though I have heard "bird of prey" used. In Canada we generally just use the term "predator" instead of "beast of prey". At least, in my experience here.


    Senior Member
    English, AE
    For what it's worth, I've never heard "beast of prey" either.
    Maybe it would help if I say that I have seen it used in print. I can't recall it being used verbally outside the circles wherein I most often hear it used. It seems to be a phrase passé, not normally used in today's lexicon. And why would it be? The phrase does sound like archaic English, even though birds of prey is still commonly used.


    Senior Member
    USA English
    First time for "beast of prey" for me as well.

    Although the common house cat fits the definition, I normally associate "beast" with a rather large animal, as does the attached dictionary.


    Senior Member
    USA, English
    I hear beast of prey far less often than birds of prey. However there is a song called "Beasts of Prey" and it represents about 1/3 the Google hits.

    Birds of prey are also called raptors. I can't think of a single-word synonym for beasts of prey.
    < Previous | Next >