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

Competitive eating champ Joey Chestnut is known for devouring hot dogs. Greg Morago, Houston Chronicle, "Joey Chestnut debuts new condiment line," 2 July 2018 FEST Play bingo, devour baked goods and watch fireworks. Hannah Kirby, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "21 Things-to-do in the southwest suburbs in July," 29 June 2018 Rather than devouring their own, feminists should recognize the enormous work that each wave has done for the movement, and get ready to keep doing more work. Constance Grady, Vox, "The waves of feminism, and why people keep fighting over them, explained," 1 June 2018 For the first few months of my pregnancy, I was convinced my unborn child was hell-bent on devouring the last shred of my livelihood. Ashley Abramson, Longreads, "A Motherless Daughter, Mothering," 11 May 2018 But one studio has kept from getting devoured by filling its movies with things getting eaten—as well as ripped apart, melted and otherwise destroyed. Erich Schwartzel, WSJ, "Cult Movie Studio Troma Thrives on Gore and Guffaws," 30 Apr. 2018 To prevent interest costs from devouring the budget, Congress will likely have to either cut spending and/or raise taxes. Joel Naroff,, "Most politicians ignore the real debt problem: Interest," 19 Apr. 2018 His own daughter Jamie—one of three children Bernstein had with his wife, Felicia Montealegre, a Chilean actress—tells of the joy of devouring Beatles LPs with him. The Economist, "A man in fullLeonard Bernstein at 100," 18 Jan. 2018 Remember, also, that Trump didn't take the field in Atlanta until after 8 P.M, which is normally a solid hour or two into his evening ritual of devouring a cheeseburger while watching Fox News in bed. Jay Willis, GQ, "Does Donald Trump Know the Words to the National Anthem? An Investigation," 9 Jan. 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

21 Sep 2018

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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

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an open space surrounded by woods

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