vo·​ra·​cious | \ vȯ-ˈrā-shəs How to pronounce voracious (audio) , və- \

Definition of voracious

1 : having a huge appetite : ravenous
2 : excessively eager : insatiable a voracious reader

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Other Words from voracious

voraciously adverb
voraciousness noun

Choose the Right Synonym for voracious

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

Veracious or voracious?

Take care to distinguish between the near-homophones veracious and voracious, whose similarities in sound mask utterly different meanings. Veracious (“honest, truthful”), like its cousins veritable, verify, and very, concerns that which is true. Voracious (”having a greedy or insatiable appetite”), on the other hand, describes the urge to consume large quantities of something, often food, books, or ideas. One way to remember the difference is that the one with the E as its second letter means "truE," and the one with the O as its second letter means "ravenOus." Not coincidentally, these adjectives have near-homophonous noun derivatives: veracity ("truthfulness") and voracity ("the quality or state of being voracious").

Did You Know?

Voracious is one of several English words that derive from the Latin verb vorare, which means "to eat greedily" or "to devour." "Vorare" is also an ancestor of "devour" and of the "-ivorous" words, which describe the diets of various animals. These include "carnivorous" ("meat-eating"), "herbivorous" ("plant-eating"), "omnivorous" ("feeding on both animals and plants"), "frugivorous" ("fruit-eating"), "graminivorous" ("feeding on grass"), and "piscivorous" ("fish-eating").

Examples of voracious in a Sentence

He has a voracious appetite. it seemed like the voracious kitten was eating her weight in food every day
Recent Examples on the Web Publishers inside and outside China say the release of American books has come to a virtual standstill, cutting them off from a big market of voracious readers. BostonGlobe.com, "SHANGHAI — China has taken aim at major American businesses as it looks for ways to retaliate against President Trump’s mounting tariffs. It has targeted cars, beef, and soybeans — and, apparently, Bob Woodward’s latest tale of Washington dysfunction and intrigue.," 29 Dec. 2019 This is the story of all the wild attempts to control these nonnative, voracious predators—and how biologists finally found the right solution. National Geographic, "Want to kill invasive trout? Smother them with their dead.," 21 June 2019 Khot’s views are also informed by his voracious appetite for other subjects, including economics, history and current events. Quanta Magazine, "A Grand Vision for the Impossible," 12 Aug. 2014 British tabloids have a voracious appetite for stories about the royal family, who are treated as an engrossing national soap opera. Washington Post, "New year, new headache for queen with Harry and Meghan rift," 11 Jan. 2020 And that’s to say nothing of Michael’s voracious appetite. Mike Singer, The Denver Post, "Porter House: How Nuggets rookie Michael Porter Jr.’s living situation keeps him grounded," 22 Dec. 2019 The additional features include phishing protections and tab freezing, which will try to mitigate Chrome’s voracious appetite for memory by limiting what actions a tab can take when not in use. Mark Hachman, PCWorld, "Google's Chrome 79 will warn you if your password has been stolen—or will be," 10 Dec. 2019 To keep growing, Andromeda had a voracious appetite in the past. Ashley Strickland, CNN, "This violent galaxy next door is set for a collision with the Milky Way," 2 Oct. 2019 North American consumers' voracious appetite for F-Series trucks and SUVs continues to power earnings at Ford Motor Co., although profits dropped in the second quarter due to $1.2 billion in special charges. Eric D. Lawrence, Detroit Free Press, "Ford sees profit slide on restructuring, other costs; earnings, revenues flat," 24 July 2019

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

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First Known Use of voracious

1635, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for voracious

Latin vorac-, vorax, from vorare to devour; akin to Old English ācweorran to guzzle, Latin gurges whirlpool, Greek bibrōskein to devour

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Time Traveler for voracious

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The first known use of voracious was in 1635

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Last Updated

12 Feb 2020

Cite this Entry

“Voracious.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/voracious. Accessed 22 Feb. 2020.

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More Definitions for voracious


How to pronounce voracious (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of voracious

: having or showing a tendency to eat very large amounts of food


vo·​ra·​cious | \ vȯ-ˈrā-shəs How to pronounce voracious (audio) , və- \

Kids Definition of voracious

1 : very hungry : having a huge appetite
2 : very eager a voracious reader

Other Words from voracious

voraciously adverb

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More from Merriam-Webster on voracious

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for voracious

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with voracious

Spanish Central: Translation of voracious

Nglish: Translation of voracious for Spanish Speakers

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