con·​sum·​er kən-ˈsü-mər How to pronounce consumer (audio)
often attributive
: one that consumes: such as
: one that utilizes economic goods
Many consumers make purchases on the Internet.
: 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
consumership noun

Examples of consumer in a Sentence

Many consumers are still not comfortable making purchases on the Internet.
Recent Examples on the Web Bad actors are becoming more and more creative in defrauding consumers using the phone. James Garvert, Forbes, 12 Feb. 2024 Amid an according squeeze in household budgets, few items in consumers’ baskets have been deemed sacred. Byryan Hogg, Fortune Europe, 12 Feb. 2024 Last year, the Federal Trade Commission sued the tech giant for allegedly duping consumers into signing up for its Prime service and then impeding them from canceling their subscriptions. Winston Cho, The Hollywood Reporter, 12 Feb. 2024 Critics argue Musk has trapped Tesla in a vicious circle by training consumers to postpone their purchase in the hopes of getting a better deal in the future. Christiaan Hetzner, Fortune, 12 Feb. 2024 That would be good for consumers but also for the climate. Andrew Stuttaford, National Review, 11 Feb. 2024 The report outlines many of the challenges facing the wine industry, such as the fact that younger consumers are drinking less alcohol, including wine, as reported in a recent Gallup poll. Mike Desimone and Jeff Jenssen, Robb Report, 11 Feb. 2024 The unregulated market of dietary supplements is setting consumers up to be misled and potentially seriously harmed by these products. Emily Hemendinger, Discover Magazine, 10 Feb. 2024 That gives brands a chance to reach more consumers at one time than anywhere else, and many companies use the opportunity to trot out new products or introduce a new slogan. Aimee Picchi, CBS News, 10 Feb. 2024 See More

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'consumer.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History


see consume

First Known Use

15th century, in the meaning defined above

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

Dictionary Entries Near consumer

Cite this Entry

“Consumer.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 26 Feb. 2024.

Kids Definition


con·​sum·​er kən-ˈsü-mər How to pronounce consumer (audio)
: one that consumes
especially : a person who buys and uses up goods
: a plant or animal that requires complex organic compounds for food which it obtains by preying on other living things or eating particles of organic matter compare producer sense 3

Legal Definition


: one that utilizes economic goods
specifically : an individual who purchases goods for personal use as distinguished from commercial use
Last Updated: - Updated example sentences
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