There are 2 main definitions of raven in English:


Syllabification: ra·ven
Pronunciation: /ˈrāvən


1A large heavily built crow with mainly black plumage, feeding chiefly on carrion.
More example sentences
  • Well-adapted to urban environments, grackles, crows, ravens, blackbirds, and jays thrive everywhere we do.
  • Long-eared Owls usually nest in abandoned stick nests, often the nests of magpies, crows, ravens, or hawks.
  • Put bluntly, these birds, which include crows, ravens, magpies, and jays, can be real jerks.
2 (the Raven) The constellation Corvus.


Back to top  
(Especially of hair) of a glossy black color.
More example sentences
  • She had a long sheet of glossy raven hair and graceful neck.
  • She was a tall woman, slim and delicate, with a wealth of glossy raven hair.
  • Her hood had been left back and her glossy raven hair had been tied up with a deep lilac ribbon.
black, jet-black, ebony
literary sable


Old English hræfn, of Germanic origin; related to Dutch raaf and German Rabe.

Definition of raven in:

Get more from Oxford Dictionaries

Subscribe to remove adverts and access premium resources

There are 2 main definitions of raven in English:


Syllabification: rav·en
Pronunciation: /ˈravən


[no object] archaic
1(Of a ferocious wild animal) hunt for prey.
More example sentences
  • He and the hounds ravening him are amalgamated in one precipitate upsweep of pigments.
  • One is the very fierce passage in The Origin of Species where he talks about ‘the face of nature, bright with gladness’ and yet if you look beneath, you will see things ravening, devouring, consuming.
1.1 [with object] Devour voraciously.
More example sentences
  • Your sword has devoured your prophets like a ravening lion.
  • But after a while that didn't stop you from ravening down the poison.


late 15th century (in the sense 'take as spoil'): from Old French raviner, originally 'to ravage', based on Latin rapina 'pillage'.

Definition of raven in: