om·​niv·​o·​rous | \ äm-ˈniv-rəs How to pronounce omnivorous (audio) , -ˈni-və- \

Definition of omnivorous

1 : feeding on both animal and vegetable substances omnivorous animals
2 : avidly taking in everything as if devouring or consuming an omnivorous reader omnivorous curiosity

Other Words from omnivorous

omnivorously adverb

Examples of omnivorous in a Sentence

She is an omnivorous reader. a child with omnivorous curiosity
Recent Examples on the Web Gabler, an omnivorous reader, is perhaps the leading champion of the book-to-film pipeline and helped establish it decades ago. Laura Blasey, Los Angeles Times, 15 July 2022 Only one shark species is known to be omnivorous (eats plants and animals: the bonnethead shark. Kelli Bender,, 14 July 2022 Perhaps without Guidara’s attention to the front of house or because Humm believed his facility with omnivorous cuisine would seamlessly transfer to the meatless world, Eleven Madison Park has struggled in this new iteration. Alicia Kennedy, Bon Appétit, 1 July 2022 Bat stars are omnivorous and frequently feed on carcasses that fall to the ocean floor. Alan Taylor, The Atlantic, 13 June 2022 Gators are the semiaquatic equivalent of coyotes, said Ian Recchio, the zoo’s reptile curator: canny, omnivorous, adept at snatching food and avoiding predators. Los Angeles Times, 24 May 2022 But where ancient cats had only flesh-tearing teeth, omnivorous canids had both cutting teeth in front to kill and eat small mammals and flatter molar-like teeth in the back of their mouths used to crush plants, seeds and berries. Pam Kragen, San Diego Union-Tribune, 2 May 2022 The omnivorous species hibernates in the bottom sediments of freshwater settings and older snapping turtles usually are covered in algae, resulting in a greenish and gray appearance. Ian Lenahan, USA TODAY, 27 Apr. 2022 In the 1990s, a three-year study of Loch Ness’s food chain revealed that the loch’s food sources probably couldn’t support any sort of population of massive, omnivorous animals. Matt Blitz, Popular Mechanics, 29 Mar. 2022 See More

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'omnivorous.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

First Known Use of omnivorous

circa 1656, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for omnivorous

Latin omnivorus, from omni- + -vorus -vorous

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Time Traveler for omnivorous

Time Traveler

The first known use of omnivorous was circa 1656

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Dictionary Entries Near omnivorous



omnivorous leaftier

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Statistics for omnivorous

Last Updated

13 Aug 2022

Cite this Entry

“Omnivorous.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 16 Aug. 2022.

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More Definitions for omnivorous


om·​niv·​o·​rous | \ äm-ˈni-və-rəs How to pronounce omnivorous (audio) \

Kids Definition of omnivorous

: feeding on plants and animals


om·​niv·​o·​rous | \ äm-ˈniv-(ə-)rəs How to pronounce omnivorous (audio) \

Medical Definition of omnivorous

: eating both animal and plant matter

Other Words from omnivorous

omnivorously adverb
omnivorousness noun

More from Merriam-Webster on omnivorous

Nglish: Translation of omnivorous for Spanish Speakers


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