car·​ni·​vore | \ ˈkär-nə-ˌvȯr How to pronounce carnivore (audio) \

Definition of carnivore

1a : an animal (such as a dog, fox, crocodile, or shark) that feeds primarily or exclusively on animal matter : a carnivorous animal Among the plankton are numerous diminutive but voracious carnivores, including small jellyfishes and comb jellies, saber-toothed creatures called arrowworms or chaetognaths, and a host of crustaceans and small fishes.— Gregory A. Wray As big as a bull elephant, T. rex weighed 15 times as much as the largest carnivores living on land today.— Erik Stokstad Carnivores [=people who eat meat] will appreciate the restaurant's refined version of surf-and-turf: steak au poivre matched with sweet, large prawns.— Matthew DeBord
b : any of an order (Carnivora) of animals that feed primarily or exclusively on animal matter : carnivoran Farther back in their mouths lie some special teeth known as the carnassials. These are the hallmark of the true carnivores, or canivorans—members of a great order of placental mammals, the Carnivora.— Richard H. Tedford
2 : a carnivorous plant the Venus flytrap and other carnivores subsisting on insects

Examples of carnivore in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web

Her menu has broad dietary diversity: carnivore, vegan, vegetarian, gluten-free, and pescatarian. Adrienne So, WIRED, "Don't Head into the Remote Wilderness Without This Gear," 24 June 2019 The order includes both obligate carnivores such as lions, as well as bamboo-munching pandas. Brian Kateman, Quartz, "Vegan pets sound bougie, but they might just save the Earth," 12 June 2019 That policy was already in place for elephants and apes and now applies to all carnivores. Washington Post, "Topeka Zoo: Protocols weren’t followed before tiger attack," 7 June 2019 For carnivores, a preliminary menu shown to a passerby in recent days listed a $120 family-style Tomahawk steak. Michael Mayo,, "Another Italian restaurant, Talento, to open on Las Olas in Fort Lauderdale. That makes a dozen.," 10 June 2019 The program provides data to supplement DNR surveys and and offers the public an opportunity to help determine the status of forest carnivores in the state. Paul A. Smith, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "Smith: Wisconsin was home to at least 914 wolves last winter. How does that compare, and what's the significance?," 23 May 2019 Where to Eat Wild Beets In Santa Gertrudis, Wild Beets draws inspiration from Ibiza’s hippie history with a contemporary vegan menu that could charm even a carnivore. Elizabeth Wellington, Vogue, "For Authentic Ibiza, Visit in the Winter," 15 Feb. 2019 That would mean supporting efforts to stop the activities that killed many large carnivores in the first place. Anchorage Daily News, "‘Rewilding’ missing carnivores may help restore some landscapes," 17 Mar. 2018 That’s what’s on the menu for the latest fad, the carnivore diet, also called zero carb. Abby Langer, SELF, "I'm a Registered Dietitian and I Really Don't Want You to Eat a Carnivore Diet," 7 Aug. 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'carnivore.' 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 carnivore

1833, in the meaning defined at sense 1b

History and Etymology for carnivore

ultimately from Latin carnivorus

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Statistics for carnivore

Last Updated

7 Jul 2019

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Time Traveler for carnivore

The first known use of carnivore was in 1833

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More Definitions for carnivore



English Language Learners Definition of carnivore

: an animal that eats meat : a meat eater


car·​ni·​vore | \ ˈkär-nə-ˌvȯr How to pronounce carnivore (audio) \

Kids Definition of carnivore

: an animal that feeds on meat

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Comments on carnivore

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


appealing forcibly to the mind or reason

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