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 Baltimore spends a varying amount each year to cover the cracks and fill the holes that have been known to devour wheel rims, bumpers, scooters and bicycle frames. Colin Campbell,, "‘Potholes. That’s all we do’: Baltimore crew works year-round, pouring asphalt to tame city streets," 21 Apr. 2021 For one week each year, revelers, creatives and tech entrepreneurs alike descend on the state’s capital to devour everything from speeches by artists and world leaders to heavy-metal gigs to new gadget reveals. Rachel Cormack, Robb Report, "Robb Report’s Parent Company P-MRC Buys a Stake in South by Southwest," 19 Apr. 2021 Members of the Scorpaenidae family, these beautiful fish remained perfectly still suspended in the water column, brightly colored red-and-white spines deployed, large mouths poised to devour prey. John Christopher Fine,, "Lionfish menace continues | Opinion," 9 Apr. 2021 If nothing changes, this doomsday machine will devour the country’s foreign exchange. Jacques De Larosière And Steve H. Hanke, WSJ, "Lebanon Could Use a Currency Board," 21 Apr. 2021 Some expert warn that rising sea levels could devour much of its vast coastal region, and cyclones and tidal surge destroy agriculture and livelihood for millions., "US envoy Kerry discusses climate challenges in Bangladesh," 10 Apr. 2021 The idea is that abnormally huge valuations relative to GDP can only stay at those levels, let alone wax from there, if future earnings also soar to devour a much-bigger-than-normal slice of national income. Shawn Tully, Fortune, "With the S&P 500 above 4,000 the ‘Buffett Indicator’ is wildly out of whack," 5 Apr. 2021 People devour it the same way the bear gobbled up all that cocaine. Maggie Menderski, The Courier-Journal, "Who is Cocaine Bear? Meet Kentucky's wildest, drug-fueled legend being turned into a movie," 11 Mar. 2021 Spread on some tartar sauce, squeeze it all together and devour it with two hands. Keith Pandolfi, The Enquirer, "Fish sandwich of the week: The cod sandwich at Arthur's," 5 Mar. 2021

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

16 May 2021

Cite this Entry

“Devour.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 18 May. 2021.

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More Definitions for devour



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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