con·​sump·​tion | \ kən-ˈsəm(p)-shən How to pronounce consumption (audio) \

Essential Meaning of consumption

1 : the act of eating or drinking something alcohol/milk/chocolate consumption = the consumption of alcohol/milk/chocolate Farms in the area grow food mostly for local consumption. [=they sell most of the food they grow to people who live nearby] See More ExamplesThis food is not fit for human consumption. [=not fit to be eaten by people] The doctor recommended that she reduce her consumption of sugar. [=that she eat less sugar]Hide
2 : the use of something (such as fuel) electricity/gas consumption = the consumption of electricity/gas The jet's high fuel consumption makes it expensive to operate.
3 : use by a particular group of people The governor said that the report was not for public consumption. [=it was not meant to be seen by the general public; it was intended only for a few people]

Full 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
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 Its production and consumption, however, has been a major driver of many economies. Washington Post, 17 Nov. 2021 Her impermanent and autobiographical organic photographs ask the viewer to question production, consumption and ownership. Nargess Banks, Forbes, 15 Nov. 2021 Despite pledges to move toward net zero by midcentury, G-20 countries have continued to subsidize fossil fuel production and consumption. Scientific American, 4 Nov. 2021 They are crafted in Portugal and produced in small batches, for slower consumption and less waste, which is an important tenet of the brand. Julie Tong, Vogue, 1 Nov. 2021 The book, Ozeki’s fifth, weaves together themes of loss, American consumption, mental health, Zen Buddhist philosophy and the transformative power of books and libraries. NBC News, 1 Nov. 2021 Oil and natural-gas production and consumption would also decline, leading to job losses in energy-rich regions. Shane Shifflett, WSJ, 23 Oct. 2021 The North American nation legalized cannabis production and consumption nationwide. Yaw Okyere Thompson, Quartz, 22 Oct. 2021 Topics such as depression, alcohol consumption, family dynamics, coping through the day, and the effects people face when they are first released from prison will be discussed., 21 Oct. 2021

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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Time Traveler for consumption

Time Traveler

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

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Dictionary Entries Near consumption



consumption function

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Statistics for consumption

Last Updated

1 Dec 2021

Cite this Entry

“Consumption.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 1 Dec. 2021.

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More Definitions for consumption


con·​sump·​tion | \ kən-ˈsəmp-shən How to pronounce consumption (audio) \

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 How to pronounce consumption (audio) \

Medical Definition of consumption

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

More from Merriam-Webster on consumption

Nglish: Translation of consumption for Spanish Speakers

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


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