carnivorous

adjective

car·​niv·​o·​rous kär-ˈni-v(ə-)rəs How to pronounce carnivorous (audio)
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
4
carnivorously adverb
carnivorousness noun
carnivory 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 Eventually, a subset of carnivorous dinosaurs, including sickle-clawed raptors and prehistoric precursors to birds, evolved complex feathers made of keratin, the same fibrous protein that makes up the hair and fingernails of people. science.org, 3 July 2024 The carnivorous dishes became a little repetitive, to be frank: Many of them consist of a small slab of meat sitting on a bed of some purée, accompanied by a couple dollops of different greens. Tiffany Hopkins, Bon Appétit, 25 June 2024 New giant carnivorous dinosaur reveals convergent evolutionary trends in theropod arm reduction. Sean Mowbray, Discover Magazine, 18 June 2024 First manufactured by the Phoenicians in present-day Lebanon, the dye was extracted from the mucus of the Mediterranean’s carnivorous sea snails. Sonja Anderson, Smithsonian Magazine, 14 June 2024 See all Example Sentences for carnivorous 

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

Word History

Etymology

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

First Known Use

1592, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Time Traveler
The first known use of carnivorous was in 1592

Dictionary Entries Near carnivorous

Cite this Entry

“Carnivorous.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/carnivorous. Accessed 16 Jul. 2024.

Kids Definition

carnivorous

adjective
car·​niv·​o·​rous kär-ˈniv-(ə-)rəs How to pronounce carnivorous (audio)
1
a
: feeding on animal tissues
b
: trapping and digesting insects
carnivorous plants
2
: of or relating to the carnivores

Medical Definition

carnivorous

adjective
car·​niv·​o·​rous kär-ˈniv-(ə-)rəs How to pronounce carnivorous (audio)
1
: subsisting or feeding on animal tissues
2
: of or relating to the carnivores
carnivorously adverb
carnivorousness noun
Last Updated: - Updated example sentences
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