con·​sume | \ kən-ˈsüm How to pronounce consume (audio) \
consumed; consuming

Definition of consume

transitive verb

1 : to do away with completely : destroy Fire consumed several buildings.
2a : to spend wastefully : squander consumed his inheritance on luxuries
b : use up Writing consumed much of his time.
3a : to eat or drink especially in great quantity consumed several bags of pretzels
b : to enjoy avidly : devour … mysteries, which she consumes for fun …— Eden Ross Lipson
4 : to engage fully : engross consumed with curiosity
5 : to utilize as a customer consume goods and services

intransitive verb

1 : to waste or burn away : perish
2 : to utilize economic goods

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Synonyms for consume


devour, eat (up)

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Examples of consume in a Sentence

The new lights consume less electricity. She's making an effort to live more simply and consume less. Hundreds of books were consumed in the fire.
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Recent Examples on the Web

The whole time, I was consumed with one question: How does one of the NHL's No. Finding Joe Murphy,, "Joe Murphy, Red Wings' No. 1 pick, is homeless again — and refusing help," 8 Aug. 2019 Conversely, consuming fish, vegetables, and fruit has been tied to a lower probability of depression. Michelle Stacey, Allure, "The "Food as Medicine" Doctrine Hurts More Than It Helps," 8 Aug. 2019 Of course, the pot will have to be purchased and consumed in the festival’s designated Grass Lands area at the three-day event, Aug. 9-11, at Golden Gate Park. Jim Harrington, The Mercury News, "It’s official: Pot use, sale legal at 2019 Outside Lands," 7 Aug. 2019 Suffice to say the tradition has stuck, Good Housekeeping UK reports that 140,000 portions of English strawberries are annually consumed during the Championships's 2-week duration. Jaimie Potters, Town & Country, "The Best Ways to Experience Wimbledon," 7 Aug. 2019 According to police, Tamia Fuery, 20, of Los Angeles was arrested on suspicion of obstructing or resisting a peace officer, falsely identifying to a peace officer and consuming alcohol on the city beach. Julia Sclafani, Daily Pilot, "H.B. police officer hospitalized and 7 people arrested after fight breaks out on beach," 1 Aug. 2019 How Ice Lake differs from Whiskey Lake, Amber Lake What’s interesting, though, is that the low-power (previously known as Y-series) parts consume more power, at 9W, than their 5W Amber Lake predecessors. Mark Hachman, PCWorld, "Intel launches 10th-gen 'Ice Lake' chips, pushing hard on graphics for notebook PCs," 1 Aug. 2019 Former special counsel Robert Mueller provided Congress a terse conclusion Wednesday to the Russia investigation that consumed Washington for nearly two years. Christal Hayes, USA TODAY, "What we learned from Robert Mueller: Seven hours, zero bombshells and everyone declares victory," 24 July 2019 Women's World Cup This World Cup is the worthy descendant of the breakthrough tournament of 1999, which packed the largest stadiums the United States could offer and consumed our country for a month. Ann Killion,, "US women carry on legacy from 1999 World Cup: ‘This is how we envisioned it’," 6 July 2019

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

14th century, in the meaning defined at transitive sense 1

History and Etymology for consume

Middle English, from Middle French or Latin; Middle French consumer, from Latin consumere, from com- + sumere to take up, take, from sub- up + emere to take — more at sub-, redeem

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Statistics for consume

Last Updated

15 Aug 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for consume

The first known use of consume was in the 14th century

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More Definitions for consume



English Language Learners Definition of consume

: to eat or drink (something)
: to use (fuel, time, resources, etc.)
: to destroy (something) with fire


con·​sume | \ kən-ˈsüm How to pronounce consume (audio) \
consumed; consuming

Kids Definition of consume

1 : to destroy by or as if by fire
2 : to eat or drink up
3 : to use up consume electricity Our entire day was consumed searching for his glasses.
4 : to take up the interest or attention of Curiosity consumed the crowd.

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More from Merriam-Webster on consume

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with consume

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for consume

Spanish Central: Translation of consume

Nglish: Translation of consume for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of consume for Arabic Speakers

Comments on consume

What made you want to look up consume? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


not constant or steady

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