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See more synonyms for carnivorous on Thesaurus.com
  1. flesh-eating: A dog is a carnivorous animal.
  2. of the carnivores.
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Origin of carnivorous

1640–50; < Latin carnivorus, equivalent to carni- (combining form of carō flesh) + -vorus -vorous
Related formscar·niv·o·rism, nouncar·niv·o·rous·ly, adverbcar·niv·o·rous·ness, nounnon·car·niv·o·rous, adjectivenon·car·niv·o·rous·ly, adverbnon·car·niv·o·rous·ness, nounun·car·niv·o·rous, adjectiveun·car·niv·o·rous·ly, adverbun·car·niv·o·rous·ness, noun
Can be confusedcarnivorous herbivorous omnivorous


See more synonyms for on Thesaurus.com
1. meat-eating, predatory, predacious.
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Related Words


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.


    Mayne Reid

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

  • 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.

British Dictionary definitions for carnivorous


  1. (esp of animals) feeding on flesh
  2. (of plants such as the pitcher plant and sundew) able to trap and digest insects and other small animals
  3. of or relating to the Carnivora
  4. informal aggressively ambitious or reactionary
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Derived Formscarnivorously, adverbcarnivorousness, 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

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).

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper