adjective vo·ra·cious \ vȯ-ˈrā-shəs , və- \
|Updated on: 30 Jul 2018

Definition of voracious

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





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Examples of voracious in a Sentence

  1. He has a voracious appetite.

  2. it seemed like the voracious kitten was eating her weight in food every day

Recent Examples of voracious from the Web

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.

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").

Origin and Etymology of voracious

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

Synonym Discussion of 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

VORACIOUS Defined for English Language Learners


Definition of voracious for English Language Learners

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

VORACIOUS Defined for Kids


adjective vo·ra·cious \ vȯ-ˈrā-shəs , və- \

Definition of voracious for Students

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



Word Root of voracious

The Latin word vorāre, meaning “to eat greedily,” gives us the root vor. Words from the Latin vorāre have something to do with eating. An herbivorous animal eats only plants. A carnivorous animal eats only other animals. To devour is to eat up greedily. Anyone voracious likes to eat a lot.

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