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

But the biggest impact for consumers probably won't come from any those devices. Aaron Pressman, Fortune, "The Apple iPhone Event’s Biggest Story Wasn’t the New Products," 11 Sep. 2019 The company's iPhone sales have slumped in recent quarters in part because consumers are waiting longer to upgrade their smartphones. Ahiza Garcia, CNN, "The iPhone 11 is here but is it worth the upgrade?," 11 Sep. 2019 Thus, consumers can feel virtuous or principled for choosing plants over meat without sacrificing too much flavor. Washington Post, "Is it really possible that plant-based foods such as the Impossible Whopper are healthful?," 11 Sep. 2019 Yet consumers might not receive the full $125 because the cash award could be reduced depending on the number of claims. Aimee Picchi, CBS News, "Want that $125 from Equifax? Don't ignore the company's latest email," 10 Sep. 2019 At least in theory, consumers would also stand to gain. Michael Mccann,, "What Will Happen If the California 'Fair Pay to Play Act' Gets Signed Into Law?," 10 Sep. 2019 On Friday, the CDC asked that consumers consider not using e-cigarette products during the investigation. Christine Sexton,, "Vaping-linked lung problems surfacing in Florida," 10 Sep. 2019 Trump delayed the tariff increase in order so that Apple, and other mobile-phone makers, wouldn’t have to raise their prices as consumers do their Christmas and holiday shopping later in the year. Rex Crum, The Mercury News, "IPhones, Apple TV+ believed to be in spotlight at Apple’s Tuesday event," 9 Sep. 2019 Instead, more consumers are shopping constantly and for the moment. Marc Bain, Quartzy, "Do fashion weeks still have a purpose?," 7 Sep. 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

14 Sep 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).


readily or continually undergoing change

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