carnivorous

adjective car·niv·o·rous \ kär-ˈni-v(ə-)rəs \

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

carnivorously

adverb

carnivorousness

noun

carnivory

play \kär-ˈni-və-rē\ noun

Recent Examples of carnivorous from the Web

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.

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.

Origin and Etymology of carnivorous

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


CARNIVOROUS Defined for Kids

carnivorous

adjective car·niv·o·rous \ kär-ˈni-və-rəs \

Definition of carnivorous for Students

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

Word Root of carnivorous

The Latin word vorāre, meaning “to eat greedily,” gives us the root vor. Words from the Latin vorāre have something to do with eating. An herbivorous animal eats only plants. A carnivorous animal eats only other animals. To devour is to eat up greedily. Anyone voracious likes to eat a lot.


Medical Dictionary

carnivorous

adjective car·niv·o·rous \ kär-ˈniv-(ə-)rəs \

medical Definition of carnivorous

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

carnivorously

adverb

carnivorousness

noun


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