[ kuhn-soom ]
See synonyms for: consumeconsumedconsuming on

verb (used with object),con·sumed, con·sum·ing.
  1. to destroy or expend by use; use up.

  2. to eat or drink up; devour.

  1. to destroy, as by decomposition or burning: Fire consumed the forest.

  2. to spend (money, time, etc.) wastefully.

  3. to absorb; engross: consumed with curiosity.

verb (used without object),con·sumed, con·sum·ing.
  1. to undergo destruction; waste away.

  2. to use or use up consumer goods.

Origin of consume

First recorded in 1350–1400; Middle English, from Middle French consumer, from Latin consūmere, from con- con- + sūmere “to take up” (equivalent to subs-, variant of sub- sub- + emere “to take, buy”; cf. emptor )

Other words for consume

Other words from consume

  • half-con·sumed, adjective
  • o·ver·con·sume, verb, o·ver·con·sumed, o·ver·con·sum·ing.
  • pre·con·sume, verb (used with object), pre·con·sumed, pre·con·sum·ing.
  • un·con·sumed, adjective
  • un·der·con·sume, verb (used with object), un·der·con·sumed, un·der·con·sum·ing.

Words Nearby consume Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2024

How to use consume in a sentence

British Dictionary definitions for consume


/ (kənˈsjuːm) /

  1. (tr) to eat or drink

  2. (tr; often passive) to engross or obsess

  1. (tr) to use up; expend: my car consumes little oil

  2. to destroy or be destroyed by burning, decomposition, etc: fire consumed the forest

  3. (tr) to waste or squander: the time consumed on that project was excessive

  4. (passive) to waste away

Origin of consume

C14: from Latin consūmere to devour, from com- (intensive) + sūmere to take up, from emere to take, purchase

Derived forms of consume

  • consuming, adjective
  • consumingly, adverb

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