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

In 1998, consumer and display fireworks generated $141 million and $284 million in revenue respectively for the industry. Madeline Purdue, USA TODAY, "This holiday could fizzle if the US-China trade war blows up," 19 June 2019 Startups have teamed up with supermarkets to create applications that alert consumers when groceries that are about to expire are marked down. Kirsten Grieshaber,, "Apps help restaurants sell discounted unsold food. ‘We cannot go on with all this wastefulness.’," 19 June 2019 Hot among consumers this year are pet products like healthy, natural foods and technology aimed at dogs, including dog TV, Forbes reports. Emma Keith, Detroit Free Press, "2019 Detroit Kennel Club Dog Shows in Novi: Here's what you need to know," 19 June 2019 The pivot from Millennials to using the Reese's name, a 91-year-old brand, comes at a time when sugar is falling out of favor with consumers. Jordan Valinsky, CNN, "Hershey's is giving its best candy bar a makeover," 19 June 2019 Unfortunately for us, that winner is Putin, and U.S. consumers are left paying the price. Debra Cagan, Houston Chronicle, "Comment: In maintaining Jones Act, the winner is Putin," 19 June 2019 Others have helped companies tap into consumers' relationships, behaviors, locations and innermost thoughts in powerful and often disturbing ways. Sean Gallagher, Ars Technica, "The fourth Industrial revolution emerges from AI and the Internet of Things," 18 June 2019 This rate influences many consumer and business loans, from credit cards to home equity credit lines to small-business loans. CBS News, "3 things to watch for from the Federal Reserve on Wednesday," 18 June 2019 Since the partnership began in 2019, Call for Action has saved consumers more than $280,000. Robert Anglen, azcentral, "'Garage-Door Guy' who stiffed Arizona customers caught in 2011 'Dateline NBC' sting," 18 June 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

22 Jun 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).


to take the place or position of

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