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[kuh n-suhmp-shuh n] /kənˈsʌmp ʃən/
the act of consuming, as by use, decay, or destruction.
the amount consumed:
the high consumption of gasoline.
Economics. the using up of goods and services having an exchangeable value.
  1. Older Use. tuberculosis of the lungs.
  2. progressive wasting of the body.
Origin of consumption
1350-1400; Middle English consumpcyon (< Middle French) < Latin consūmptiōn- (stem of consūmptiō) a consuming, wasting, equivalent to consūmpt(us), past participle of consūmere to consume (con- con- + sūmp- (variant stem of sūmere to take up, spend) + -tus past participle suffix) + -iōn- -ion
Related forms
nonconsumption, noun
overconsumption, noun
preconsumption, noun
self-consumption, noun
underconsumption, noun
1. depletion, exploitation, utilization. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018.
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Examples from the Web for consumption
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • The poor devil had consumption, too, and probably he'll never see them again.

    The Spenders Harry Leon Wilson
  • Often a patient is described by his doctor as suffering from consumption.

  • Her name was Vincent, and her husband, a gilder by trade, had been carried off by consumption.

  • A great saving has also been made in the consumption of coal.

    The Railroad Question William Larrabee
  • He says, your Highness, that I am like a snake in a consumption!

    Vivian Grey Earl of Beaconsfield, Benjamin Disraeli
British Dictionary definitions for consumption


the act of consuming or the state of being consumed, esp by eating, burning, etc
(economics) expenditure on goods and services for final personal use
the quantity consumed
(pathol) a condition characterized by a wasting away of the tissues of the body, esp as seen in tuberculosis of the lungs
Word Origin
C14: from Latin consumptiō a wasting, from consūmere 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 consumption

late 14c., "wasting of the body by disease; wasting disease" (replacing Old English yfeladl "the evil disease"), from Old French consumpcion, from Latin consumptionem (nominative consumptio) "a using up, wasting," noun of state from past participle stem of consumere (see consume). Meaning "the using up of material" is 1530s.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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consumption in Medicine

consumption con·sump·tion (kən-sŭmp'shən)

  1. The act or process of using up something.

  2. A progressive wasting of body tissue.

  3. Pulmonary tuberculosis. No longer in technical use.

The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
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