consume

verb

con·​sume kən-ˈsüm How to pronounce consume (audio)
consumed; consuming

transitive verb

1
: to do away with completely : destroy
Fire consumed several buildings.
2
a
: to spend wastefully : squander
consumed his inheritance on luxuries
b
: use up
Writing consumed much of his time.
3
a
: to eat or drink especially in great quantity
consumed several bags of pretzels
b
: to enjoy avidly : devour
… mysteries, which she consumes for fun … Eden Ross Lipson
4
: to engage fully : engross
consumed with curiosity
5
: to utilize as a customer
consume goods and services

intransitive verb

1
: to waste or burn away : perish
2
: to utilize economic goods

Example Sentences

The new lights consume less electricity. She's making an effort to live more simply and consume less. Hundreds of books were consumed in the fire.
Recent Examples on the Web In fact, according to the Swiss Federal Office of Statistics, final energy consumption—that is, the amount of energy people actually consume—has remained relatively static. Jordan G. Teicher, The New Republic, 15 Nov. 2022 The average data center can consume as much electricity as a small city in order to power and cool its computing equipment, drawing energy from electrical grids that in many parts of the world are coal-fired. Steven Gonzalez Monserrate, WIRED, 15 Nov. 2022 Children 6-8 months should consume 4-8 ounces per day, 12-24 months 8-32 ounces per day and 2-5 years 8-40 ounces. Alyssa Jung, Good Housekeeping, 14 Nov. 2022 Rather than gamble, consume nine-course meals, and chase women, as his father did, George, shy and conservative, preferred the life of a country gentleman. Town & Country, 14 Nov. 2022 While ideal, most of us cannot consume an abundance of fresh produce at each meal, especially breakfast. Perri O. Blumberg, Men's Health, 10 Nov. 2022 Unsnarling a mystery could consume your attention today. Chicago Tribune, 2 Nov. 2022 The blacklist, which, as the years passed, would consume the careers of dozens of actors, writers, and directors suspected of communist sympathies, had begun. Isaac Butler, The New Yorker, 1 Nov. 2022 Firstly: Yes, a few modern-day vampires consume blood, often from consenting donors -- typically loved ones or partners -- in small amounts. Scottie Andrew, CNN, 29 Oct. 2022 See More

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

Word History

Etymology

Middle English, from Middle French or Latin; Middle French consumer, from Latin consumere, from com- + sumere to take up, take, from sub- up + emere to take — more at sub-, redeem

First Known Use

14th century, in the meaning defined at transitive sense 1

Time Traveler
The first known use of consume was in the 14th century

Dictionary Entries Near consume

Cite this Entry

“Consume.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/consume. Accessed 28 Nov. 2022.

Kids Definition

consume

verb

con·​sume kən-ˈsüm How to pronounce consume (audio)
consumed; consuming
1
: to destroy by or as if by fire
2
: use up, spend
the search consumed most of our time
3
: to eat or drink up
consumed a whole gallon of ice cream
4
: to take up the interest or attention of
was consumed with curiosity
5
: to use as a customer
consume goods and services
consumable
-ˈsü-mə-bəl
adjective

More from Merriam-Webster on consume

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