Raven vs raven

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and raven are two words that are spelled identically but are pronounced differently and have different meanings, which makes them heteronyms. We will examine the definitions of the words raven and raven, where these words came from, and a few examples of their use in sentences.

A raven (RAY vun) is a large black bird that belongs to the Corbus genus, which includes crows, magpies, jays, choughs, nutcrackers, treepies, rooks, and jackdaws. Ravens are highly intelligent and have exhibited corporative behaviors between themselves and other species but are also known for mischievous behavior with the goal of simply having fun. Ravens are omnivorous and may scavenge or hunt. The word raven is also used as an adjective to describe something that is sleek and dark. The word raven is derived from the Old English word, hræfn.

Raven (RAA vun) is a verb that means to eat in a greedy manner, to hunt stealthily for food, to devour. Related words are ravens, ravened, ravening, ravener, ravenous. The word raven is derived from the the Latin rapina, which means plundering.


Prior to choosing a mate, juvenile ravens usually roam around in “teenage gangs,” subsisting in large flocks until they can establish their own territories. (Vail Daily News)

Just as the sun was starting to set, huge flocks of ravens began landing on the 500kV towers to roost for the night. (Great Falls Tribune)

Charlie is a hothead and a brute—the stronger partner, you’d say, were he not ravened by a weakness for booze. (New Yorker)

Sharks are ‘ravening’, ‘unpitying’, ‘death-devouring’, with ‘jewel-hilted’ mouths full of ‘crunching teeth’. (London Review of Books)