rav·​en·​ous | \ ˈra-və-nəs How to pronounce ravenous (audio) , ˈrav-nəs \

Definition of ravenous

1 : rapacious ravenous wolves
2 : very eager or greedy for food, satisfaction, or gratification a ravenous appetite

Other Words from ravenous

ravenously adverb
ravenousness noun

Choose the Right Synonym for ravenous

voracious, gluttonous, ravenous, rapacious mean excessively greedy. voracious applies especially to habitual gorging with food or drink. teenagers are often voracious eaters gluttonous applies to one who delights in eating or acquiring things especially beyond the point of necessity or satiety. an admiral who was gluttonous for glory ravenous implies excessive hunger and suggests violent or grasping methods of dealing with food or with whatever satisfies an appetite. a nation with a ravenous lust for territorial expansion rapacious often suggests excessive and utterly selfish acquisitiveness or avarice. rapacious developers indifferent to environmental concerns

ravishing or ravenous?

Ravenous and ravishing are not synonyms, and mixing these two words may lead to potentially awkward writing or conversation. Ravenous is commonly used with the meaning “very eager or greedy for food, satisfaction, or gratification,” and ravishing means “unusually attractive, pleasing, or striking.” If you find yourself hungry and standing in front of a spectacular-looking meal you would say (of the food) “that looks ravishing,” and (of yourself) “I am ravenous.” You may, of course, describe yourself as ravishing, but should be aware that you are commenting on your appearance rather than your hunger.

Examples of ravenous in a Sentence

By the time dinner was ready, we were ravenous. we were ravenous after our canoe paddling, and the chili bubbling over the campfire smelled heavenly
Recent Examples on the Web Thanks to energy stored in their front leg joints, the males of a species of orb-weaving spiders called Philoponella prominens can catapult themselves off of a ravenous mate in a split second. Jack Tamisiea, Scientific American, 25 Apr. 2022 Snare traps are commonly used by farmers on Sumatra island to catch wild boars, which are considered destructive pests with a wide and ravenous appetite for a variety of plants. Yayan Zamzami, ajc, 25 Apr. 2022 Spare us your wild West and give us, instead, your wild, ravenous, revenge-seeking North. K. Austin Collins, Rolling Stone, 21 Apr. 2022 Others point to the earlier precedents of Ottoman culinary culture and Van's location on the Silk Road, an ancient trade route linking the Western world with the Middle East and Asia that would have supplied a constant flow of ravenous travelers. Peter Yeung, CNN, 1 Apr. 2022 Both singer-rapper-content creators have mastered performing provocatively for their ravenous online audiences and prudently for their less adventurous pop music audiences. Washington Post, 31 Mar. 2022 Indeed, despite rising tensions between Beijing and Washington, Americans maintain a ravenous appetite for low-cost Chinese products. Paul Wiseman, ajc, 30 Mar. 2022 The diner sitting next to me at Bistro Paul Bert in Paris must have been ravenous. Beth Thames | Bethmthames@gmail.com, al, 29 Mar. 2022 The country had a ravenous array of oligarchs, who, unlike those in Vladimir Putin’s Russia, hadn’t been cowed into political submission. Washington Post, 11 Mar. 2022 See More

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

First Known Use of ravenous

15th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for ravenous

Middle English ravynous, raveynous, from ravyn, raveyn "robbery, rapacity" + -ous -ous — more at ravin

Note: Alternatively, and perhaps more likely, ravynous, etc., may be a derivative of an unattested Middle English verb—see the note at raven entry 3.

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The first known use of ravenous was in the 15th century

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Dictionary Entries Near ravenous

Ravenna grass


ravenous appetite

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Statistics for ravenous

Last Updated

5 May 2022

Cite this Entry

“Ravenous.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/ravenous. Accessed 16 May. 2022.

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More Definitions for ravenous


rav·​en·​ous | \ ˈra-və-nəs How to pronounce ravenous (audio) \

Kids Definition of ravenous

: very hungry

Other Words from ravenous

ravenously adverb

More from Merriam-Webster on ravenous

Nglish: Translation of ravenous for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of ravenous for Arabic Speakers


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