AskDefine | Define raven

Dictionary Definition

raven n : large black bird with a straight bill and long wedge-shaped tail [syn: Corvus corax]


1 obtain or seize by violence
2 prey on or hunt for; "These mammals predate certain eggs" [syn: prey, predate]
3 eat greedily; "he devoured three sandwiches" [syn: devour, guttle, pig]
4 feed greedily; "The lions ravened the bodies"

User Contributed Dictionary

see Raven


Etymology 1

Old English hræfn, Old Norse hrafn


  • , /ˈreɪvən/, /"reIv@n/
  • Rhymes with: -eɪvən


  1. A large black bird (Corvus corax), similar to the crow, but larger.
  2. Rapine; rapacity.
  3. Prey; plunder; food obtained by violence.
rapine; rapacity
prey; plunder; food obtained by violence


  1. Of the color of the raven; jet-black
    raven curls
    raven darkness
    She was a tall, sophisticated, raven-haired beauty.
of the color of the raven; jet-black

Etymology 2

From medieval French raviner 'rush, seize by force', itself from ravine 'rapine', from Latin rapina 'plundering, loot', itself from rapere 'seize, plunder, abduct'


  • , /ˈrævən/, /"r

Extensive Definition

Raven is the common name given to the largest species of passerine birds in the genus Corvus. Corvids are also commonly referred to as crows and other species in the same genus include jackdaws and rooks.
In most of Europe and North America, raven is used as a synonym for the widespread Common Raven, and much of the literature and culture surrounding ravens refers to that species.
Ravens have high intelligence and are perhaps the smartest birds. Their intelligence might be on par with canids such as wolves and some breeds of Dog.
An obsolete collective noun for a group of ravens (or at least the Common Raven) is an "unkindness".


External links

raven in German: Rabe
raven in Modern Greek (1453-): Κοράκι
raven in Spanish: Cuervo
raven in French: Corbeau (oiseau)
raven in Scottish Gaelic: Fitheach
raven in Ido: Korniko
raven in Swahili (macrolanguage): Kunguru
raven in Latin: Corvus
raven in Luxembourgish: Kueb
raven in Dutch: Raaf (dier)
raven in Russian: Ворон
raven in Swedish: Korp
raven in Turkish: Karga

Synonyms, Antonyms and Related Words

angry clouds, atramentous, batten, be ravenous, black, black as coal, black as ebony, black as ink, black as midnight, black as night, black cat, black clouds, bolt, bolt down, broken mirror, charcoal, coal, coal-black, coaly, cram, crow, dark, dark as night, dark as pitch, deep black, depredate, despoil, devour, ebon, ebony, engorge, eye hungrily, feel hungry, fleece, forage, foray, freeboot, gathering clouds, glut, gluttonize, gobble, gorge, gormandize, gulp, gulp down, gut, guttle, guzzle, halcyon bird, have a tapeworm, hunger, hunger for, ink, ink-black, inky, jet, jetty, live to eat, loot, maraud, midnight, night, night-black, night-dark, nigrous, owl, pillage, pitch, pitch-black, pitch-dark, pitchy, plunder, prey on, raid, rainbow, ransack, ravage, raven-black, ravish, reive, rifle, sable, sack, shooting star, sloe, sloe-black, sloe-colored, smoke, smut, soot, spoil, spoliate, starve, storm clouds, stormy petrel, stuff, sweep, tar, tar-black, tarry, thirst, thirst for, thundercloud, thunderhead, wolf, wolf down
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