- an animal that eats flesh.
- a flesh-eating mammal of the order Carnivora, comprising the dogs, cats, bears, seals, and weasels.
- an insectivorous plant.
Origin of carnivore
1850–55; < Latin carnivorus carnivorous
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018
Examples from the Web for carnivores
The area, which once hosted a large lake, had an attractive climate that enticed herbivores and then carnivores.294 Dinosaurs Once Walked on This Wall in Bolivia
October 24, 2013
The Hindus there kept strictly vegetarian, but there was never any tension with the carnivores next door.The Fugitive Guru
June 21, 2011
That's the trouble with being a vegetable eater in a galaxy of carnivores.Planet of the Damned
Of the carnivores only the cat and the dog are truly domesticated.Introduction to the Science of Sociology
Robert E. Park
Their mere presence seemed to have been enough for the carnivores, because they all vanished.Deathworld
He can not compete with carnivores in strength and ferocity, nor with herbivores in fleetness.Evolution
Joseph Le Conte
The kidneys are of course lobulate, as in the other aquatic Carnivores.The Cambridge Natural History, Vol X., Mammalia
Frank Evers Beddard
- any placental mammal of the order Carnivora, typically having large pointed canine teeth and sharp molars and premolars, specialized for eating flesh. The order includes cats, dogs, bears, raccoons, hyenas, civets, and weasels
- any other animal or any plant that feeds on animals
- informal an aggressively ambitious person
C19: probably back formation from carnivorous
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
Word Origin and History for carnivores
"flesh-eating animal," 1839, from French carnivore (16c.), from Latin carnivorus "flesh-eating" (see carnivorous).
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
- An animal that feeds chiefly on the flesh of other animals. Carnivores include predators such as lions and alligators, and scavengers such as hyenas and vultures. In a food chain, carnivores are either secondary or tertiary consumers. Compare detritivore herbivore.
- Any of various generally meat-eating mammals of the order Carnivora. Carnivores have large, sharp canine teeth and large brains, and the musculoskeletal structure of their forelimbs permits great flexibility for springing at prey. Many carnivores remain in and defend a single territory. Dogs, cats, bears, weasels, raccoons, hyenas, and (according to some classifications) seals and walruses are all carnivores.
- A plant that eats insects, such as a Venus flytrap.
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The New Dictionary of Cultural Literacy, Third Edition Copyright © 2005 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.