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

Keep scrolling for more

Other Words from devour

devourer noun

Synonyms for devour


consume, eat (up)

Visit the Thesaurus for More 

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.
See More

Recent Examples on the Web

More recent debuts still airing on the platform could end up faring better: '80s sci-fi hit Stranger Things is as close to a golden goose as Netflix has right now, as its darker third season was well-received by critics and devoured by audiences. Isaac Feldberg, Fortune, "‘Grace and Frankie’ Is Ending. How Did It Become Netflix’s Longest-Running Show?," 5 Sep. 2019 An autopsy to determine whether the infants were ill or had developmental issues will be impossible now that they've been devoured, zoo officials said. Fox News, "Lioness devours pair of cubs days after giving birth in German zoo," 8 Aug. 2019 One day last week, as his wife Brittany wrote thank-you notes following the recent baby shower for the couple’s first child, Darren Erman sat alongside her and devoured G League game film., "You're using a browser set to private or incognito mode.," 16 Sep. 2019 September 12 SALE, Morocco — Women thrumming drums, children devouring rich pastries, red flares lighting up the sky — these are telltale signs that Moroccans are marking Ashoura. Washington Post, "AP PHOTOS: Moroccans feast, light up sky on Shiite holy day," 13 Sep. 2019 Cars were flattened by lorries on remote roads; flames devoured a farmhouse; opponents learned to fear high open windows. The Economist, "Obituary: Robert Mugabe died on September 6th," 12 Sep. 2019 That true vacuum bubble would incinerate you, then destroy all your particles, and then devour the entire universe. Randall Munroe, Time, "This Comic Creator Hopes His Terrible Ideas for Producing Energy Will Inspire You to Think of Better Ones," 12 Sep. 2019 Before dawn on Labor Day, when flames devoured the 38-year-old wooden-hulled vessel, no one below deck made it out of either exit. Kim Christensen, Los Angeles Times, "Boat where 34 died was a ‘fire trap’ despite passing inspections, experts say. It’s far from alone," 7 Sep. 2019 The errant bullet killed Andrew Owens, an aspiring model who loved his family, traveling and dancing and could devour plates of food without gaining a pound. Katherine Rosenberg-douglas,, "Who’s watching? More people licensed to carry guns in Illinois are using them, but oversight is still lacking," 7 Sep. 2019

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.

See More

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

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about devour

Statistics for devour

Last Updated

5 Oct 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for devour

The first known use of devour was in the 14th century

See more words from the same century

Keep scrolling for more

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.

Keep scrolling for more

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).


suitable to be imparted to the public

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Where in the World? A Quiz

  • peter bruegel tower of babel painting
  • What language does pajama come from?
True or False

Test your knowledge - and maybe learn something along the way.


Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!