con·​sum·​er kən-ˈsü-mər How to pronounce consumer (audio)
often attributive
: one that consumes: such as
: one that utilizes economic goods
Many consumers make purchases on the Internet.
: an organism requiring complex organic compounds for food which it obtains by preying on other organisms or by eating particles of organic matter compare producer sense 3
consumership noun

Example Sentences

Many consumers are still not comfortable making purchases on the Internet.
Recent Examples on the Web So why is the company interested, from both a consumer and gaming design perspective, in rebrands like this? Abbey White, The Hollywood Reporter, 28 Feb. 2023 To be sure, growth is poised to slow as the Federal Reserve’s most aggressive campaign of interest rate hikes since the 1980s – aimed at bringing down inflation -- curtails consumer and business spending. Paul Davidson, USA TODAY, 27 Feb. 2023 All other consumer and commercial devices that weren't already redirected from Explorer to Microsoft Edge will also be affected, the company said. Camille C. Knox, CBS News, 17 Feb. 2023 Birds, party balloons, weather balloons and trash that might be labeled UAP fill the sky, along with drones, consumer and otherwise. Mick West, Scientific American, 16 Feb. 2023 Some consumer and environmental advocates worry that the reports and concerns about grid vulnerabilities are being used to push the narrative that renewables aren’t reliable and fossil fuels are. Sarah Bowman, The Indianapolis Star, 14 Feb. 2023 The use of chemicals in the industry of plant production is well-regulated to protect the consumer and the environment. Chris Mckeown, The Enquirer, 11 Feb. 2023 Higher interest rates will also suppress credit demand, while sagging consumer and business confidence damp activity. Faseeh Mangi,, 10 Feb. 2023 The legal groups—a coalition focused on immigrant, consumer, and privacy rights—are targeting a wide range of practices disproportionately punishing society’s most vulnerable. WIRED, 8 Feb. 2023 See More

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

Word History


see consume

First Known Use

15th century, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of consumer was in the 15th century

Dictionary Entries Near consumer

Cite this Entry

“Consumer.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 22 Mar. 2023.

Kids Definition


con·​sum·​er kən-ˈsü-mər How to pronounce consumer (audio)
: one that consumes
especially : a person who buys and uses up goods
: a plant or animal that requires complex organic compounds for food which it obtains by preying on other living things or eating particles of organic matter compare producer sense 3

Legal Definition


: one that utilizes economic goods
specifically : an individual who purchases goods for personal use as distinguished from commercial use
Last Updated: - Updated example sentences
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