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

Synonyms for consume


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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.
Recent Examples on the Web Even so, always-on screens consume power when displaying that information. Chris Smith, BGR, 24 June 2022 One of my favorite pre-Vogue fashion week activities was to obsessively consume street style coverage. José Criales-unzueta, Vogue, 9 June 2022 Drenik: How does the addition of the second screen play into how consumers view and consume media and advertising? Gary Drenik, Forbes, 18 May 2022 Like many Venetian traditions, the actual cicchetti locals consume have transformed throughout the decades, but the ritual remains the same. Cat Bauer, CNN, 28 Apr. 2022 It’s the poster child for high-quality probiotics because to its commitment to delivering the optimal quantity of probiotic bacteria in a simple-to-consume capsule. The Salt Lake Tribune, 3 June 2022 The mass shootings are the latest crisis to consume the White House, which has spent the last year-and-a-half dealing with a pandemic, inflation and Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. Nancy Cook,, 28 May 2022 Consumers are armed with technology that provides on-demand ability to consume content, skip or avoid ads, engage with the world, and search for information. Gary Drenik, Forbes, 18 May 2022 The all-at-once release model that Netflix pioneered gave users the freedom to consume TV at their own pace. John Jurgensen, WSJ, 29 Apr. 2022 See More

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.

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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Time Traveler for consume

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

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Statistics for consume

Last Updated

28 Jun 2022

Cite this Entry

“Consume.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 6 Jul. 2022.

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More Definitions for consume


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.

More from Merriam-Webster on consume

Nglish: Translation of consume for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of consume for Arabic Speakers


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