de·​vour | \ di-ˈvau̇(-ə)r How to pronounce devour (audio) , dē- \
devoured; devouring; devours

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 for devour


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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 Teammates, friends and their parents hold hands to say grace before devouring plates of short ribs and pork steaks. Ben Shpigel, New York Times, "Who Is A.J. Epenesa? A Defensive Lineman Following a Family Tradition," 21 Apr. 2020 Readers devoured breaking news, in-depth coverage of bleak conditions for the homeless and helpful tips such as how to make face masks for health care workers on the front lines. Jessica Guynn And Michael Braga, USA TODAY, "Coronavirus' next casualty: The nation's biggest story could devastate news industry," 30 Mar. 2020 Milwaukee devoured the remaining carcass of the Pistons' roster, 126-106, on Thursday at Little Caesars Arena. Dana Gauruder, Detroit Free Press, "Sekou Doumbouya gets 1st taste of Giannis Antetokoumpo as Bucks own Pistons again," 21 Feb. 2020 Toasts were made, glasses were refilled, plates of fiery kimchi and juicy housemade dumplings were devoured. Amiel Stanek, Bon Appétit, "I’d Like All My Beer in a 54-Ounce Bottle From Now On," 3 Feb. 2020 Four contestants will devour three tasty delicacies in a three-round elimination race -- a cup of yummy buttermilk, tender sardines topped off with olive oil, and a whole, tear-dropping onion. Mary Colurso |, al, "Slop Fest, Dirty Girl Deluxe Wash on tap for Big One on the Blvd at Talladega," 29 Jan. 2020 As the value of their homes decline, and as property taxes keep increasing, devouring the equity in their homes, the serfs pay and pay for these public worker contracts. John Kass,, "Column: The Chicago teachers strike and property taxpayers and the road to serfdom," 18 Oct. 2019 The scientists tasked with understanding how fire destroys structures and devours our possessions need to watch these things burn — in the laboratory, that is. Rachel Becker, The Verge, "How fire scientists see through flames," 27 July 2018 Partition is the only real alternative to a Yugoslavia-like single state in which two rival peoples devour each other. Yossi Klein Halevi, WSJ, "Israelis, Palestinians and the Necessary Injustice of Partition," 13 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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Time Traveler for devour

Time Traveler

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

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Statistics for devour

Last Updated

17 May 2020

Cite this Entry

“Devour.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 30 May. 2020.

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More Definitions for devour


How to pronounce devour (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of devour

: to quickly eat all of (something) especially in a way that shows that you are very hungry
: to read (something) quickly and with much enthusiasm
: to look at (something) with much enjoyment or enthusiasm


de·​vour | \ di-ˈvau̇r How to pronounce devour (audio) \
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

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