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[kahr-niv-er-uh s] /kɑrˈnɪv ər əs/
A dog is a carnivorous animal.
of the carnivores.
Origin of carnivorous
1640-50; < Latin carnivorus, equivalent to carni- (combining form of carō flesh) + -vorus -vorous
Related forms
carnivorism, noun
carnivorously, adverb
carnivorousness, noun
noncarnivorous, adjective
noncarnivorously, adverb
noncarnivorousness, noun
uncarnivorous, adjective
uncarnivorously, adverb
uncarnivorousness, noun
Can be confused
carnivorous, herbivorous, omnivorous.
1. meat-eating, predatory, predacious. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2017.
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Examples from the Web for carnivorous
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • Like most of his kind, he is also carnivorous, and will dine off the carcass of a horse or buffalo.

    Bruin Mayne Reid
  • With the deer, of course, such is not the case, as they are not carnivorous.

    The Hunters' Feast Mayne Reid
  • They are not carnivorous and therefore must be fed from the labors of man.

    Daniel Boone John S. C. Abbott
  • It is not carnivorous, and, generally, its disposition is harmless and playful.

  • The great peterel is as large as the common albatross, and is carnivorous.

  • The Butterwort (Pinguicula) is another of these carnivorous plants.

    The Beauties of Nature Sir John Lubbock
British Dictionary definitions for carnivorous


(esp of animals) feeding on flesh
(of plants such as the pitcher plant and sundew) able to trap and digest insects and other small animals
of or relating to the Carnivora
(informal) aggressively ambitious or reactionary
Derived Forms
carnivorously, adverb
carnivorousness, noun
Word Origin
C17: from Latin carnivorus, from carō flesh + vorāre to consume
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
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Word Origin and History for carnivorous

1640s, from Latin carnivorus "flesh-eating, feeding on flesh," from caro (genitive carnis) "flesh" (see carnage) + vorare "to devour" (see voracity).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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