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

Although the new find shows that T. leonina is an ancient pest, the roundworm still infects modern pets and wild carnivores pretty regularly. Kiona N. Smith, Ars Technica, "16,000-year-old puma poop yields a sample of Ice Age parasites," 28 Aug. 2019 Collette Adkins, the carnivore conservation director at the Center for Biological Diversity tells TIME. Madeleine Carlisle, Time, "Trump Administration Re-Authorizes Using 'Cyanide Bombs' to Kill Coyotes and Dogs. Here's What to Know," 9 Aug. 2019 Experts thought that, with so much meat on the hoof, carnivores of all stripes would surely immigrate from surrounding areas of their own accord, but predator rebound has proved spotty — or not spotty enough. Natalie Angier, New York Times, "Wild Pups Romp Again in an African Paradise," 3 Aug. 2019 But most creatures were small, and no digging carnivores of this size had come to light. Joshua Sokol, Science | AAAS, "‘Millennium Falcon’ predator soared across ocean floor at dawn of animal life," 30 July 2019 With a bit more research, time, funding and luck, the cultured meat menu 2.0 will include the steak and pork chops many carnivores know and love. Natalie R. Rubio, The Conversation, "So far cultured meat has been burgers – the next big challenge is animal-free steaks," 5 July 2019 The house special, a tagliatelle made with black pepper, Parmigiana, crab and uni cream, is umami magic, while the Impossible Bolognese satisfies vegetarians and carnivores alike. Jessica Yadegaran, The Mercury News, "Saratoga’s Mountain Winery: 3 great restaurants before the show," 3 July 2019 Now, Anderson, a decades- long carnivore researcher before Alldredge, is gaining knowledge from the former understudy. Seth Boster, The Denver Post, "An up-close mission to understand mountain lions in Colorado — but is it too close?," 6 June 2019 And if saving the rainforest isn't enough to convince carnivores to stop eating Brazilian beef -- the greenhouse gas emissions the cattle create may be. Eliza Mackintosh, CNN, "The Amazon is burning because the world eats so much meat," 23 Aug. 2019

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

15 Sep 2019

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Time Traveler for carnivore

The first known use of carnivore was in 1833

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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).


authorized for issue (as a bond)

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