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 most consumers, phones have become predictable, boring and uninspiring. Samantha Murphy Kelly, CNN, "We tried out the Galaxy Z Flip phone. Samsung could be onto something," 12 Feb. 2020 Many Western fashion brands have hosted fashion shows there to directly sell to consumers, including Valentino, Prada, and Dior in 2019. Sara Radin,, "Shanghai Fashion Week Cancels Next Month’s Event Because Of Coronavirus," 11 Feb. 2020 About 145 million Americans were impacted by the breach, which leaked highly sensitive information about consumers, including their Social Security numbers. Courtney Linder, Popular Mechanics, "How Chinese Military Officers Allegedly Hacked Equifax," 10 Feb. 2020 The beauty giant cut profit expectations, saying China’s viral outbreak will harm sales to travelers and Chinese consumers, which have been major growth drivers. Francesca Fontana, WSJ, "Tesla, Macy’s, eBay: Stocks That Defined the Week," 8 Feb. 2020 Vinyl introduced consumers to high-fidelity sound and created a demand for audiophile equipment previously reserved for broadcasters. Popular Science, "Inside America’s legendary audio gear factory," 7 Feb. 2020 Film festivals and Hollywood movie studios alike have been racing to keep up with the trends in mass media, where cell phones, video games, and subscription streaming services are changing the ways consumers engage with screens and stories. TheWeek, "reckons with the streaming revolution," 7 Feb. 2020 Almost instantaneously, the shoe became regulation footwear for urban consumers (subset: gay, male), people who likely could not tell a jib from a boom. New York Times, "Storming the Catwalk in an L.L. Bean Boot," 5 Feb. 2020 Apple, which relies on Chinese consumers for sales and factories for supplies, fell 3.9%. Alex Viega, Anchorage Daily News, "Global markets roiled by coronavirus fears; Dow drops 603," 31 Jan. 2020

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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Time Traveler for consumer

Time Traveler

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

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Statistics for consumer

Last Updated

16 Feb 2020

Cite this Entry

“Consumer.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 28 Feb. 2020.

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More Definitions for consumer


How to pronounce consumer (audio)

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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