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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 over-consumption
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • In a word, what had happened was not over-consumption, but under-consumption.

    The Evolution of Modern Capitalism John Atkinson Hobson
  • He attributed his illness to an over-consumption of fruit when he was twenty-one.

    The Critical Game

    John Albert Macy
  • Indeed, over-consumption of common salt is harmful, besides leading to unnatural thirst.

    Papers on Health John Kirk
British Dictionary definitions for over-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 over-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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over-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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