om·​niv·​o·​rous äm-ˈni-v(ə-)rəs How to pronounce omnivorous (audio)
: feeding on both animal and vegetable substances
omnivorous animals
: avidly taking in everything as if devouring or consuming
an omnivorous reader
omnivorous curiosity
omnivorously adverb

Examples of omnivorous in a Sentence

She is an omnivorous reader. a child with omnivorous curiosity
Recent Examples on the Web How black bears clawed their way back The American black bear, an omnivorous mammal with fur that actually ranges from black to shades of brown and even blonde, was once ubiquitous across much of the continent. Kate Morgan, Washington Post, 10 Oct. 2023 Canvasback Duck Habitat While canvasbacks are omnivorous, their diet primarily consists of vegetative material, namely wild celery. M.d. Johnson, Field & Stream, 8 Nov. 2023 Wild pigs are tough, fast, wary and omnivorous, not to mention astoundingly fecund. Lawrence Specker |, al, 13 Sep. 2023 These bears are found along the coast of Alaska and Canada and are omnivorous like their inland cousins. Hampton Bourne, Field & Stream, 19 Oct. 2023 Every gallery has pictures that will take your breath away with their omnivorous ambition. Vulture, 3 Oct. 2023 Grizzlies are more omnivorous than polar bears with only 10 percent of their diet coming from meat. Matthew Every, Field & Stream, 6 Sep. 2023 These crayfish are omnivorous and feed on aquatic plants, snails, insects, fish, amphibian eggs and other young organisms, Kretlow said. Claire Reid, Journal Sentinel, 25 Aug. 2023 The city is a hub for fishing and hunting, and for tourists who’ve come to see one of the world’s largest land carnivores, the omnivorous brown bears that roam the archipelago. WIRED, 26 Aug. 2023 See More

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'omnivorous.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History


Latin omnivorus, from omni- + -vorus -vorous

First Known Use

circa 1656, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Time Traveler
The first known use of omnivorous was circa 1656

Dictionary Entries Near omnivorous

Cite this Entry

“Omnivorous.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 3 Dec. 2023.

Kids Definition


om·​niv·​o·​rous äm-ˈniv-(ə-)rəs How to pronounce omnivorous (audio)
: feeding on both animal and vegetable substances

Medical Definition


om·​niv·​o·​rous äm-ˈniv-(ə-)rəs How to pronounce omnivorous (audio)
: eating both animal and plant matter
omnivorously adverb
omnivorousness noun

More from Merriam-Webster on omnivorous

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