carnivorous

adjective
car·​niv·​o·​rous | \ kär-ˈni-v(ə-)rəs How to pronounce carnivorous (audio) \

Definition of carnivorous

1 : subsisting or feeding on animal tissues
2 of a plant : subsisting on nutrients obtained from the breakdown of animal protoplasm (as of insects)
3 : of or relating to the carnivores

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Other Words from carnivorous

carnivorously adverb
carnivorousness noun
carnivory \ kär-​ˈni-​və-​rē How to pronounce carnivorous (audio) \ noun

Did You Know?

The order of mammals that Linnaeus named the Carnivora includes such families as the dogs, the bears, the raccoons, the weasels, the hyenas, the cats, and the seals. Most carnivores eat only meat in the wild, but some have varied diets; some bears, for instance, normally eat far more vegetation than meat. Carnivores have powerful jaws and complex teeth, and most are highly intelligent. Humans, like their ape cousins, are basically omnivores.

Examples of carnivorous in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web Almost immediately, newsletters—on personal finance, high-end travel, U.F.O.s, carnivorous plants, surfing, bluegrass, numismatics, farming, and, of course, computing—proliferated. Anna Wiener, The New Yorker, "Is Substack the Media Future We Want?," 28 Dec. 2020 For a certain kind of child, the holy trinity consists of carnivorous dinosaurs, sharks and snakes, beasts composed of oversize maws that shred or swallow flesh into their sleek, alien bodies. New York Times, "How My Pet Snake Taught Me to Really See," 28 Dec. 2020 The Phoenix Suns have a carnivorous team personality going right now that made Dario Saric want to stick around. Duane Rankin, The Arizona Republic, "Dario Saric wanted to keep playing with 'angry dogs' Phoenix Suns," 6 Dec. 2020 The species is carnivorous, and many are highly efficient predators that eat small arthropods and many kinds of larvae. Lauren M. Johnson, CNN, "NOAA scientists discover a new species of a gelatinous animal in the waters near Puerto Rico," 28 Nov. 2020 But the team also found tooth marks on the bones of the carnivorous Allosaurus. Riley Black, Smithsonian Magazine, "Carnivorous Dinosaurs Like Allosaurus Were Cannibals," 27 May 2020 The record was previously held by a 1.15 meter-long (nearly 3 feet 9 inches) footprint found in Bolivia in July 2016, which was the biggest ever from a carnivorous dinosaur. Jack Guy, CNN, "Evidence of huge carnivorous dinosaurs discovered in Australia," 18 June 2020 The worms are carnivorous and feed primarily on earthworms, according to Murphy. Allen Kim, CNN, "An invasive, snake-like hammerhead worm is popping up in Georgia," 23 Nov. 2020 The brain belongs to Buriolestes schultzi — a carnivorous dinosaur that walked the earth during the Triassic period, over 230 million years ago. Wyatte Grantham-philips, USA TODAY, "Researchers reconstruct first complete brain of one of the world's oldest dinosaurs," 3 Nov. 2020

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

1592, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for carnivorous

Latin carnivorus, from carn-, caro + -vorus -vorous

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Time Traveler for carnivorous

Time Traveler

The first known use of carnivorous was in 1592

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Statistics for carnivorous

Last Updated

11 Jan 2021

Cite this Entry

“Carnivorous.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/carnivorous. Accessed 19 Jan. 2021.

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More Definitions for carnivorous

carnivorous

adjective
car·​niv·​o·​rous | \ kär-ˈni-və-rəs How to pronounce carnivorous (audio) \

Kids Definition of carnivorous

: feeding on animal flesh or tissue Wolves are carnivorous animals.

carnivorous

adjective
car·​niv·​o·​rous | \ kär-ˈniv-(ə-)rəs How to pronounce carnivorous (audio) \

Medical Definition of carnivorous

1 : subsisting or feeding on animal tissues
2 : of or relating to the carnivores

Other Words from carnivorous

carnivorously adverb
carnivorousness noun

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Comments on carnivorous

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