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 Cetus was about to devour her when Perseus the Hero happened by on Pegasus, the Flying Horse. Todd Nelson, Star Tribune, "Coldest Air of Winter On The Way," 1 Feb. 2021 Parasitoid wasps are thought to save the U.S. agricultural industry billions of dollars each year by implanting crop pests with babies that then devour the insects alive. Washington Post, "Parasites may not be cute and cuddly, but they need saving too, scientists say," 14 Dec. 2020 Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour. Terry Pluto, cleveland, "What should we say to people and families dealing with COVID-19? – Terry’s Pluto’s Faith & You," 5 Dec. 2020 Grizzlies raid squirrel caches of whitebark pine cones and devour the seeds within the cones to fatten up for winter. Matthew Brown, Star Tribune, "US: mountain pine tree that feeds grizzlies is threatened," 1 Dec. 2020 Some folks devour 24-hour news, searching for answers; some watch documentaries or read histories about pandemics past, seeking clues to the future; others merely want escapism. Angela Watercutter, Wired, "The New Kim Kardashian Meme Lives on the Darkest Timeline," 30 Oct. 2020 Harry Potter TikTokers produce and devour their own fancam videos, memes, dances and trends. Lena Wilson, New York Times, "‘Harry Potter’ and the Prisoners of Quarantine," 17 Nov. 2020 The parasite has grown big enough to make its dramatic escape, and to devour the rest of its host alive. Matt Simon, Wired, "‘Godzilla’ Wasp Swims—So Its Young Can Burst Out of Caterpillars," 9 Nov. 2020 On a daily basis, these vegetarians devour about 170 pounds of produce — ranging from leafy greens and red peppers, to juicy tomatoes and different types of squash. Suzanne Pfefferle Tafur,, "Think it's expensive to feed your critters? Audubon Zoo spends $70,000 a month, and it needs your help," 2 Nov. 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

9 Feb 2021

Cite this Entry

“Devour.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 28 Feb. 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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Comments on devour

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