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 After your new French toast creations are devoured, try stuffing your bread or making it in the slow cooker for a different variation. Katlyn Moncada, Better Homes & Gardens, "Banana Bread Is the Secret Ingredient to the Perfect French Toast," 14 May 2020 Five years ago, astronomers caught a lone white dwarf star, 570 light-years away from Earth, devouring its young like the Greek titan Cronus. Jennifer Leman, Popular Mechanics, "Scientists Witness the Death of a Solar System, and the Birth of Necroplanetology," 1 Apr. 2020 Summoned to fill in for Joe Staley and start in the 49ers home opener Sunday, Skule has a family background that should help him devour scouting reports, specifically those of the upcoming Pittsburgh Steelers. Cam Inman, The Mercury News, "What we learned Wednesday at 49ers: Skule not tapping dad’s FBI resources," 18 Sep. 2019 An Arkansas photographer captured a venomous copperhead snake devouring a cicada that had just emerged from its shell at Ozark National Forest earlier this month. Fox News, "Venomous Arkansas snake devours bug in jaw-dropping photos," 29 July 2019 This springtime switch helps restore balance after the population takes a hit in winter when predators, like black scorpionfish, devour the shrimp. Emily Toomey, Smithsonian, "Newborn Shrimp Often Undergo Sex Reversal, but Ocean Acidification Could Disturb That Natural Process," 28 June 2019 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

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

31 May 2020

Cite this Entry

“Devour.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 7 Jun. 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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