noun, often attributive
con·​sum·​er | \ kən-ˈsü-mər How to pronounce consumer (audio) \

Definition of consumer

: one that consumes: such as
a : one that utilizes economic goods Many consumers make purchases on the Internet.
b : an organism requiring complex organic compounds for food which it obtains by preying on other organisms or by eating particles of organic matter — compare producer sense 3

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Other Words from consumer

consumership \ kən-​ˈsü-​mər-​ˌship How to pronounce consumership (audio) \ noun

Examples of consumer in a Sentence

Many consumers are still not comfortable making purchases on the Internet.

Recent Examples on the Web

For planet-conscious beauty consumers, these words can have a strong gravitational pull. Cotton Codinha, Allure, "What "Green" Means to Women in the Natural Beauty Industry," 8 Apr. 2019 In the week ahead, the U.S. economy will see fresh data on inflation and consumer sentiment. Wsj Staff, WSJ, "Economy Week Ahead: Consumer Prices, Fed Minutes," 7 Apr. 2019 But Kudlow insisted that while the economy has slowed, the labor market and underlying growth in consumer spending and business investment have remained strong. Martin Crutsinger, The Seattle Times, "Kudlow calls for one-half point rate cut by Fed," 31 Mar. 2019 Stanton looks for consumer products that make life better for women, like Brandless and Modern Fertility. Jo Piazza, Marie Claire, "Hatched at Twitter," 12 Feb. 2019 The Supreme Court on Wednesday sidestepped a decision on the legitimacy of class-action settlements that distribute money to nonprofit organizations instead of consumers, in a case involving Alphabet Inc.’s Google. Brent Kendall, WSJ, "Supreme Court Ducks Class-Action Ruling on Distribution of Google Settlement Funds," 20 Mar. 2019 In a nationally representative 2015 survey of 1,504 people published in the Journal of Food Protection, nearly 70 percent of consumers reported rinsing or washing raw poultry. Jenna Flannigan, SELF, "8 Surprising Food Safety Mistakes You Might Be Making," 11 Jan. 2019 Here was a business-to-business aesthetic, gussied up for the sake of the consumer — the backroom by way of the window display. Jamie Lauren Keiles, Vox, "The bleak hope of the day-after-Christmas sale," 27 Dec. 2018 Realtors are not only embracing the technology that consumers use to search for homes, but in most instances... WSJ, "How Realtors Add Value for Their Customers," 10 Mar. 2019

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

15th century, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for consumer

see consume

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Statistics for consumer

Last Updated

13 Apr 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for consumer

The first known use of consumer was in the 15th century

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More Definitions for consumer



English Language Learners Definition of consumer

: a person who buys goods and services


con·​sum·​er | \ kən-ˈsü-mər How to pronounce consumer (audio) \

Kids Definition of consumer

1 : a person who buys and uses up goods
2 : a living thing that must eat other organisms to obtain energy necessary for life



Legal Definition of consumer

: one that utilizes economic goods specifically : an individual who purchases goods for personal use as distinguished from commercial use

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More from Merriam-Webster on consumer

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with consumer

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for consumer

Spanish Central: Translation of consumer

Nglish: Translation of consumer for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of consumer for Arabic Speakers

Comments on consumer

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


having no equal

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