de·​vour | \di-ˈvau̇(-ə)r, dē-\

Definition of devour 

transitive verb

1 : to eat up greedily or ravenously devoured the turkey and mashed potatoes

2 : to use up or destroy as if by eating We are devouring the world's resources.

3 : to prey upon devoured by guilt

4 : to enjoy avidly devours books

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Other Words from devour

devourer noun

Synonyms & Antonyms for devour


absorb, burn, consume, deplete, drain, draw down, exhaust, expend, play out, spend, use up


renew, replace

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Examples of devour in a Sentence

He devoured everything on his plate. The lions devoured their prey. She devoured every golf magazine she could find. He watched intently, devouring the scene before him with his eyes.
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Recent Examples on the Web

But, as fans who’ve devoured the entire season well know, Roz also isn’t quite full-Muggle by the time the credits roll on Episode 10. Kelsea Stahler, Teen Vogue, ""Chilling Adventures of Sabrina" Star Jaz Sinclair on Rosalind's Surprising Twist and Female Friendships," 27 Oct. 2018 Bagworms have been devouring needles of junipers, cedars, cypresses and arborvitae. Neil Sperry, star-telegram, "The tough half of the gardening marathon is ahead. Here's how to finish strong," 6 July 2018 But each stage of the process could only separate a tiny amount of uranium, so gaseous diffusion required huge buildings and devoured energy to power the pumps needed to move the gas through the separation stages. Umair Irfan, Vox, "Uranium enrichment will be a key point in talks with North Korea. Here’s what it is.," 11 June 2018 Suits is an ongoing tournament of wit and cunning within the law firm and with rival outfits seeking to poach and devour. James Wolcott, HWD, "Confessions of a Suits Fan: Why the Legal Drama That Launched Meghan Markle Works," 27 Apr. 2018 Now, in an era when digital titans are redrawing the boundaries between industries and devouring traditional players, AT&T needs to transform into something entirely different: a media and entertainment powerhouse. John D. Stoll, WSJ, "Why Companies Have the Urge to Merge," 15 June 2018 An additional 2,000 people have been evacuated from Leilani Estates, an area farther west where dozens of homes have been devoured or cut off by rivers of lava streaming over the landscape. Terray Sylvester, Washington Post, "3 trapped on Hawaii’s Big Island are airlifted to safety as volcano continues to erupt," 3 June 2018 Observations included photos of rare plants, to tide pool life, to a snake devouring a lizard, Hollingsworth said. Deborah Sullivan Brennan,, "San Diego places third in international biodiversity competition," 5 May 2018 No, son, nutria are invasive rodents devouring our wetlands. Ann Maloney,, "The latest weight-loss craze? A 'nutria coach'!," 17 Apr. 2018

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

14th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for devour

Middle English, from Anglo-French devour-, stem of devorer, from Latin devorare, from de- + vorare to devour — more at voracious

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Statistics for devour

Last Updated

16 Nov 2018

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for devour

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

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More Definitions for devour


de·​vour | \di-ˈvau̇r \
devoured; devouring

Kids Definition of devour

1 : to eat up hungrily

2 : to take in eagerly by the senses or mind He devoured the information.

3 : to destroy as if by eating The buildings were devoured by flames.

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More from Merriam-Webster on devour

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for devour

Spanish Central: Translation of devour

Nglish: Translation of devour for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of devour for Arabic Speakers

Comments on devour

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


noxious or harmful

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