con·​sump·​tion | \kən-ˈsəm(p)-shən \

Definition of consumption 

1a : the act or process of consuming consumption of food consumption of resources

b : use by or exposure to a particular group or audience The document was not intended for public consumption.

2 : use of something the jet's high consumption of fuel the consumption of electricity

3a : tuberculosis

b : a progressive wasting away of the body especially from pulmonary tuberculosis

Examples of consumption in a Sentence

The jet's high fuel consumption makes it expensive to operate.

Recent Examples on the Web

With Wheaton College’s dry campus and the large traditional Christian community, alcohol consumption was generally discouraged. Grace Wong,, "Common Good aims to create new cocktail culture in western suburbs," 13 July 2018 The main culprits: alcohol consumption, drugs, fatigue, inattention, and speed. Tony Bizjak, sacbee, "Here's your Fourth of July playbook for the Sacramento region," 3 July 2018 FBI Special Agent David Rodski said the majority of cases happen on red-eye overnight flights of three hours or more where cabin lights are often dimmed or instances involving alcohol consumption. Carson Kessler, Fortune, "In-Flight Sexual Assaults Are Increasing 'At an Alarming Rate'," 21 June 2018 The epidemiologists said the study did not plan to enroll enough patients or allow enough follow-up time to assess whether moderate alcohol consumption also increases cancer risks. Meredith Wadman, Science | AAAS, "NIH pulls the plug on controversial alcohol trial," 15 June 2018 Researchers were to assess over a 10-year period whether a single serving (approximately 15 grams) of alcohol each day could provide health benefits, such as lowering rates of cardiovascular disease, compared with no alcohol consumption. Beth Mole, Ars Technica, "NIH shuts down controversial $100M drinking study backed by Big Alcohol," 15 June 2018 Drew said that excessive alcohol consumption contributes to dysbiosis — an imbalance between good and bad bacteria. Lori Nickel, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "Chin Up: The body's second brain — the gut — and how to keep it healthy," 13 June 2018 Many public officials still endorsed temperance policies, despite up to two-thirds of the public leaning in favor of moderate alcohol consumption. Hannah C. Griggs, The Atlantic, "Teaching Sobriety With ‘The Bottle’," 27 May 2018 For example, alcohol consumption by drivers and pedestrians has contributed to about half of pedestrian deaths in recent years, according to federal data. Scott Rodd, The Christian Science Monitor, "Florida addresses pedestrian fatalities with engineering strategy," 16 May 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'consumption.' 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 consumption

14th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1a

History and Etymology for consumption

Middle English consumpcioun, from Latin consumption-, consumptio, from consumere — see consume

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Last Updated

5 Nov 2018

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The first known use of consumption was in the 14th century

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English Language Learners Definition of consumption

: the act of eating or drinking something

: the use of something (such as fuel)

: use by a particular group of people


con·​sump·​tion | \kən-ˈsəmp-shən \

Kids Definition of consumption

1 : the act or process of using up something (as food or coal)

2 : a wasting away of the body especially from tuberculosis of the lungs


con·​sump·​tion | \kən-ˈsəm(p)-shən \

Medical Definition of consumption 

1 : a progressive wasting away of the body especially from pulmonary tuberculosis

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More from Merriam-Webster on consumption

Spanish Central: Translation of consumption

Nglish: Translation of consumption for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of consumption for Arabic Speakers Encyclopedia article about consumption

Comments on consumption

What made you want to look up consumption? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


to clear from alleged fault or guilt

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