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 With the support of higher education and venture capital, along with consumer demand, opportunities to create high-tech lifestyles beyond Silicon Valley — while having a meaningful impact on the world — have rarely been more promising. Paul Schickler And John Austin, Star Tribune, "High tech, in several forms, can bring a rural renaissance," 4 Sep. 2020 Congress hasn’t taken action on additional stimulus measures this summer, and without them consumer demand and retail employment could slump. Eric Morath And Danny Dougherty, WSJ, "Retail Stores Add Jobs as Shoppers Return," 4 Sep. 2020 Automotive analysts said consumer demand for pickup trucks has remained strong throughout the pandemic, but the lack of inventory of the vehicles has driven prices up and sales down. Diego Mendoza-moyers,, "Toyota truck sales down in August, hurt by drop in production," 2 Sep. 2020 Growth has slumped sharply since the pandemic began with companies laying off millions of workers and consumer demand cratering. Jack Pitcher, Fortune, "Elon Musk is now the third-richest person in the world. Here’s how much he’s worth," 31 Aug. 2020 Once the fastest-growing major economy in the world, India limped into 2020 as consumer demand waned and the country's automotive sector struggled. Charles Riley, CNN, "India's economy shrinks at the fastest pace on record," 31 Aug. 2020 The middlemen have been starved of supply for months, leading to a desperation for new stock that might not be reflected in consumer demand. Thomas Biesheuvel,, "Cheaper Diamonds Fire Life Into the Hidden World of Gem Trading," 29 Aug. 2020 But many travel and entertainment companies continue to struggle with consumer demand amid continuing COVID-19 outbreaks. Aimee Picchi, CBS News, "MGM to cut 18,000 workers who were previously furloughed," 28 Aug. 2020 Patnode presented his analysis showing that the Bel Air area could support another liquor store and that the economic and population data for the town and county indicates sufficient consumer demand. David Anderson,, "License denied for proposed 9,400-square-foot liquor store in Bel Air; board cites impact on other stores," 27 Aug. 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

9 Sep 2020

Cite this Entry

“Consumer.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 20 Sep. 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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