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

And few things are as bad for an island as invasive rats, which show up and devour everything in their path—including the eggs and chicks of native bird species, which haven’t learned to contend with mammalian predators. Matt Simon, WIRED, "Rats! Coral Reefs Aren't Getting the Bird Poop They Need," 11 July 2018 Overseas, the dinos devoured another $56.1 million from 68 markets for a foreign tally of $667.6 million -- including $237 million in China -- and global haul of $932.4 million. Pamela Mcclintock, Billboard, "Weekend Box Office: 'Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom' Dunks 'Uncle Drew,' 'Sicario: Day of the Soldado' With $60M," 1 July 2018 Another is traumatized after watching an otter devour a baby swan. Sam Sacks, WSJ, "Fiction: Snakes, Landslides & Adventures in Real Estate," 22 June 2018 Pat was a voracious reader, devouring everything from detective novels to biographies, and was extremely appreciative of the Windsor Public Library. Hartford Courant,, "Patricia Alves," 21 June 2018 There were few children his age, so as a young man Mr. Harvey immersed himself in books, devouring the works of Freud and William James. Harrison Smith, Washington Post, "Larry Harvey, philosophical force behind Burning Man festival, dies at 70," 29 Apr. 2018 Gregarious and inquisitive, the species is thousands of years old, but in recent years its territory has been devoured by agriculture and subdivisions, killing off 90 percent of the population. Kate Santich,, "Lake couple create haven for rare Scrub-Jays and young fans," 6 July 2018 The gravity inside a black hole is so strong that matter, in essence, forms a line around the phenomena waiting to get devoured. David Grossman, Popular Mechanics, "Scientists Witness Aftermath of a Black Hole Destroying a Star," 15 June 2018 And there are so many delicious creations invented by skilled, passionate chefs out there waiting to be devoured. Nick Davidson, Outside Online, "Travel Hacks for When You're on a Vegan Diet," 14 June 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

7 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

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


alleviating pain or harshness

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