adjective rav·en·ous \ ˈra-və-nəs , ˈrav-nəs \
|Updated on: 8 Jul 2018

Definition of ravenous

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





Examples of ravenous in a Sentence

  1. By the time dinner was ready, we were ravenous.

  2. we were ravenous after our canoe paddling, and the chili bubbling over the campfire smelled heavenly

Recent Examples of ravenous from the Web

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.

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.

First Known Use of ravenous

15th century

in the meaning defined at sense 1

See Words from the same year
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Synonym Discussion of 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

RAVENOUS Defined for English Language Learners


Definition of ravenous for English Language Learners

  • : very hungry

RAVENOUS Defined for Kids


adjective rav·en·ous \ ˈra-və-nəs \

Definition of ravenous for Students

: very hungry



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