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 formsnon·con·sump·tion, nouno·ver·con·sump·tion, nounpre·con·sump·tion, nounself-con·sump·tion, nounun·der·con·sump·tion, noun

Synonyms for consumption Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for consumption

Contemporary Examples of consumption

Historical Examples of consumption

  • The poor devil had consumption, too, and probably he'll never see them again.

    The Spenders

    Harry Leon Wilson

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

  • Often a patient is described by his doctor as suffering from 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 for consumption

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

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

consumption in Medicine




The act or process of using up something.
A progressive wasting of body tissue.
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.