ap·​pe·​tite | \ ˈa-pə-ˌtīt How to pronounce appetite (audio) \

Definition of appetite

1 : any of the instinctive desires necessary to keep up organic life especially : the desire to eat He has a hearty appetite.
2a : an inherent craving an insatiable appetite for work
b : taste, preference … the cultural appetites of the time …— J. D. Hart

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Other Words from appetite

appetitive \ -​ˌtī-​tiv How to pronounce appetitive (audio) \ adjective

Synonyms & Antonyms for appetite


belly, emptiness, famishment, hunger, munchies, stomach



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Examples of appetite in a Sentence

He has a healthy appetite. Some common symptoms are tiredness, nausea, and loss of appetite. I had no appetite and couldn't sleep.
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Recent Examples on the Web

Federal Reserve officials are likely to end their meeting this week signaling little if any appetite to raise interest rates this year, part of a strategy designed to reduce the risks of a sharp slowdown in global economic growth. Nick Timiraos, WSJ, "Federal Reserve Rate Projections Could Show Greater Confidence in Extended Pause," 17 Mar. 2019 Not many kids his age were reading scientific papers like Oberth’s, but von Braun had already developed a hearty appetite for such things thanks to the fictional works of his favorite writers Jules Verne and H.G. Wells. Alex Hollings, Popular Mechanics, "The Saturn V Story: From Nazi Roots to America's Moon Rocket," 6 Feb. 2019 Here in the 21st century: Taking supplemental ketones to help enhance this biological process will likely decrease appetite by raising blood levels of ketone bodies. Jaclyn London, Ms, Rd, Cdn, Good Housekeeping, "Keto Diet Pills and Supplements May Hurt Your Health and Waste Your Money," 16 Jan. 2019 Several studies have shown that a higher-fat diet can reduce cravings and levels of appetite-stimulating hormones ghrelin and insulin. Karla Walsh, Woman's Day, "The Ultimate Keto Diet Foods List of What You Can (and Can't) Eat," 28 Dec. 2018 The company has demonstrated a voracious appetite for office space, distribution and logistics facilities, and warehouses; its capital expenditures are now roughly equivalent to Walmart, despite having just a handful of physical locations. Patrick Sisson, Curbed, "Amazon HQ2 winner appears to be both New York and Crystal City, Virginia," 6 Nov. 2018 Depression isn’t just a mental disorder, but can cause physical symptoms like pain, fatigue, and appetite changes. Brittney Mcnamara, Teen Vogue, "12 Celebrities Who Talk About Mental Health," 10 Oct. 2018 But there is limited appetite among Britain's European allies for further sanctions against Moscow. Lucia I. Suarez Sang, Fox News, "Kremlin slams accusations of Russian involvement in ex-spy poisoning, calls them ‘unacceptable’," 6 Sep. 2018 Disney is betting there's an equally strong appetite for the Artemis Fowl series on the big screen. Jennifer Ouellette, Ars Technica, "First trailer for Artemis Fowl might make you believe in fairies," 27 Nov. 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'appetite.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of appetite

14th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for appetite

Middle English apetit, from Anglo-French, from Latin appetitus, from appetere to strive after, from ad- + petere to go to — more at feather

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Statistics for appetite

Last Updated

25 Mar 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for appetite

The first known use of appetite was in the 14th century

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More Definitions for appetite



English Language Learners Definition of appetite

: a physical desire for food
: a desire or liking for something


ap·​pe·​tite | \ ˈa-pə-ˌtīt How to pronounce appetite (audio) \

Kids Definition of appetite

1 : a natural desire especially for food
2 : a desire or liking for something an appetite for adventure


ap·​pe·​tite | \ ˈap-ə-ˌtīt How to pronounce appetite (audio) \

Medical Definition of appetite

: any of the instinctive desires necessary to keep up organic life especially : the desire to eat

Other Words from appetite

appetitive \ -​ˌtīt-​iv How to pronounce appetitive (audio) \ adjective

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Comments on appetite

What made you want to look up appetite? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


marked by a state of overwhelming emotion

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