noun, often attributive
con·​sum·​er | \kən-ˈsü-mər \

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 \ noun

Examples of consumer in a Sentence

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

Recent Examples on the Web

Take a ride on the New York City subway and you’ll be bombarded with ads for direct-to-consumer luggage brands promising to make our lives easier, smoother (literally, with four wheels instead of two), and more stylish. Lale Arikoglu, Condé Nast Traveler, "Why Everyone Wants an Away Suitcase," 26 Nov. 2018 Business groups such as the U.S. Chamber of Commerce have supported the adoption of such a database, as have consumer advocates, including the National Consumer Law Center. Tony Romm, The Seattle Times, "The FCC has a new plan to combat unwanted robocalls and spammy texts," 20 Nov. 2018 But some consumer advocates have pushed for the FCC to instead classify messaging as a telecommunications service. Colin Lecher, The Verge, "The FCC’s plan to fight spam texts could give phone companies more power over messaging," 20 Nov. 2018 While behemoths like Apple staunchly opposed to the idea, another manufacturer has emerged as an unlikely consumer advocate: Motorola. Sam Blum, Popular Mechanics, "Motorola Backs the Right to Repair with Kits for Your Phone," 24 Oct. 2018 The multimedia project is designed to take a holistic approach to lifestyle entertainment and e-commerce, offering viewers a chance to shop products from the show as part of the brand's direct-to-consumer program. Lauren Hubbard, Town & Country, "Jenna Lyons Is Returning to the Style World With a New Reality Show," 9 Oct. 2018 But the bigotry expressed in his words falls right in line with Victoria's Secret's brand ethos: their exclusionary business practices have alienated consumers for decades. Gianluca Russo, Teen Vogue, "ThirdLove Responds to Victoria's Secret Exec Ed Razek's Comments About Their Brand," 17 Nov. 2018 This third collection stretches Campbell’s interest in America’s mass consumer culture in a more sustainable direction. Rachel Hahn, Vogue, "Lordele Is the Nascent Label Creating Sustainable, Gender Nonconforming Clothes," 16 Nov. 2018 Matt Jones is a senior consumer advice editor at Edmunds. Matt Jones, The Seattle Times, "Edmunds: Black Friday isn’t what it used to be in car sales," 14 Nov. 2018

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

7 Dec 2018

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 \

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

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).


the figure or shape of a crescent moon

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