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 That could, of course, be tested by by a protein shortage in Asia as well as U.S. consumers sudden voracious appetite for proteins. Deena Shanker, Bloomberg.com, "Threat of Sick Workers at U.S. Meat Plants Forces Policy Changes," 10 May 2020 McConnell, a voracious reader of history, has been cultivating his place in it for many years. Jane Mayer, The New Yorker, "How Mitch McConnell Became Trump’s Enabler-in-Chief," 12 Apr. 2020 Even libraries -- reliable havens for the remote worker, the curious student and the voracious reader -- have closed their physical doors amid the coronavirus pandemic that has shut just about everything else down in recent weeks. Elizabeth Depompei, Indianapolis Star, "These are Indy's most read e-books during the coronavirus pandemic," 26 Mar. 2020 But a potential solution to one of the biggest threats of coffee production has been found in the bright orange excrement of a voracious gastropod called the Asian trampsnail. Maria Cramer, New York Times, "Could an Invasive Snail Save Your Morning Coffee?," 11 Mar. 2020 Buzz60 Small-town pharmacies and international online retailers alike are struggling to keep up with the public’s voracious demand for masks, hazmat suits and other gear to protect against coronavirus. Ken Alltucker, USA TODAY, "'Patients are on edge': Coronavirus fears trigger a run on masks, gloves and other gear," 7 Feb. 2020 But scientists are also interested in studying the impact that these voracious fire clouds can have on the climate. NBC News, "'Fire clouds': After Australia, scientists warn the erratic weather phenomenon could become a new reality," 15 Jan. 2020 These shadows also appear throughout the visual as a voracious crowd that shoves flashing cameras into his face and threatens to literally swallow him up. Natalie Morin, refinery29.com, "Breaking Down BTS Rapper Suga’s Message In Powerful “Interlude: Shadow” Album Trailer," 9 Jan. 2020 On January 6th John Bolton, Mr Trump’s former national security adviser and a voracious note-taker, seemed to offer a way out of this fix. The Economist, "Republicans agree on rules for the Senate trial of Donald Trump," 7 Jan. 2020

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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The first known use of voracious was in 1635

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Last Updated

20 May 2020

Cite this Entry

“Voracious.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/voracious. Accessed 27 May. 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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