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 And lately, their efforts have helped slow the steady rise of consumer prices, but El-Erian believes that central bankers don’t have the tools to efficiently fight inflation in parts of the services sector. Bywill Daniel, Fortune, 21 Jan. 2023 After getting a late start taking on soaring consumer prices, the Fed has aggressively boosted the benchmark rate, including a run of four unusually steep increases of three-quarters of a percentage point. Larry Edelman,, 19 Jan. 2023 The finding marks a reversal of the pattern that prevailed when consumer prices initially spiked in 2021 and early 2022, which showed the most severe impact on middle-income Americans. Paul Davidson, USA TODAY, 18 Jan. 2023 Data earlier this month showed that consumer prices in the eurozone rose at an annual rate of 9.2 percent in December, down from 10.1 percent in November. Eshe Nelson, New York Times, 16 Jan. 2023 Between 2018 and 2021, child care prices rose by 8 to 23 percent, depending on the age of children and type of care, according to a 2021 state price survey — and that was before consumer prices began rising even more sharply over the past year. San Diego Union-Tribune, 15 Jan. 2023 The effect of these supply factors is now fading, putting less pressure on consumer prices. David Harrison, WSJ, 14 Jan. 2023 Indians are drawing comfort from easing consumer prices in the past couple of months, but the latest inflation numbers also carry a caveat. Mimansa Verma, Quartz, 13 Jan. 2023 As for the broader picture of inflation, consumer prices decreased by 0.1% in December, the BLS reported in its Consumer Price Index report. Alexandra Meeks, CNN, 13 Jan. 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 2 Feb. 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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