car·​ni·​vore ˈkär-nə-ˌvȯr How to pronounce carnivore (audio)
: 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
: 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
: a carnivorous plant
the Venus flytrap and other carnivores subsisting on insects

Examples of carnivore in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web Most cases have been in carnivores, which likely ate infected birds. Amy Maxmen | Kff Health News, ABC News, 24 May 2024 Though it was mostly supported by Republicans and opposed by Democrats, four Democrats voted to delist gray wolves while four Republicans voted to keep the large carnivores under full federal protection. Travis Hall, Field & Stream, 10 May 2024 On this point, at least, Mr. Buettner can agree with the carnivores. Steven Kurutz Steven Kurutz, New York Times, 30 Apr. 2024 Such formidable carnivores tore their prey into chunks and swallowed the parts without chewing. Riley Black, Smithsonian Magazine, 2 May 2024 See all Example Sentences for carnivore 

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'carnivore.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History


ultimately from Latin carnivorus

First Known Use

1833, in the meaning defined at sense 1b

Time Traveler
The first known use of carnivore was in 1833

Dictionary Entries Near carnivore

Cite this Entry

“Carnivore.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 12 Jun. 2024.

Kids Definition


car·​ni·​vore ˈkär-nə-ˌvō(ə)r How to pronounce carnivore (audio)
: a flesh-eating animal
especially : any of an order of flesh-eating mammals
: a plant that traps and digests insects
Last Updated: - Updated example sentences
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