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 for devour


consume, eat (up)

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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

The InSight team devours each detail—the camera is showing less than two degrees of tilt, which tells them the lander is sitting nice and flat for its science. Joe Pappalardo, Popular Mechanics, "How a Small CubeSat Became the Unlikely Hero of the InSight Landing," 29 Nov. 2018 Those larvae then devour the wood, their zig-zag feeding patterns clearly delineated. Frank Fitzpatrick,, "Ashes of an industry: A Pennsylvania tradition is dying, one baseball bat at a time," 14 June 2018 Technology giants are rapidly devouring a media industry that has long been dominated by the same group of entertainment companies — storied Hollywood studios, television networks and cable giants. David Lazarus,, "California Inc.: An 'Incredible' comeback for a Disney/Pixar franchise," 11 June 2018 The wasps hatch, devour the roach inside the egg case and escape by drilling a hole out to freedom. Rob Dunn, Discover Magazine, "Our Attempts to Eradicate Insects are Just Making them Resistant to Pesticides," 16 Nov. 2018 When the female lays its eggs, the beetle larvae crawl off and devour them. Avery Thompson, Popular Mechanics, "How Horror Beetles Hitchhike on Bees And Then Eat Their Young," 12 Sep. 2018 Put away your peacoat and make time for delicious popsicles, tons of SPF, and days spent devouring page-turners by a body of water (any body will do). Team Marie Claire, Marie Claire, "11 Best Beach Reads, According to Our Editors," 6 July 2018 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

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

14 Dec 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

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


a nest or breeding place

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