• synonyms


[dih-vou-uh r, -vou-er]
verb (used with object)
  1. to swallow or eat up hungrily, voraciously, or ravenously.
  2. to consume destructively, recklessly, or wantonly: Fire devoured the old museum.
  3. to engulf or swallow up.
  4. to take in greedily with the senses or intellect: to devour the works of Freud.
  5. to absorb or engross wholly: a mind devoured by fears.
Show More

Origin of devour

1275–1325; Middle English devouren < Anglo-French, Old French devourer < Latin dēvorāre to swallow down, equivalent to dē- de- + vorāre to eat up
Related formsde·vour·er, nounde·vour·ing·ly, adverbde·vour·ing·ness, nounin·ter·de·vour, verb (used with object)pre·de·vour, verb (used with object)re·de·vour, verb (used with object)self-de·vour·ing, adjectiveun·de·voured, adjective
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Examples from the Web for devourer

Historical Examples of devourer

  • Bibliophage, or bibliophagist, a book-eater, or devourer of books.

    A Book for All Readers

    Ainsworth Rand Spofford

  • Mightily grew and flourished the Wolf that was to be the devourer of Mani, the Moon.

  • They are sisters for him because he is neither sentimentalist nor devourer.

  • This annoyed the devourer a little but did not hinder his eating.

    The Hero of the People

    Alexandre Dumas

  • It is also called Martiora, which in the Parsian tongue, signifieth a devourer of men.

British Dictionary definitions for devourer


verb (tr)
  1. to swallow or eat up greedily or voraciously
  2. to waste or destroy; consumethe flames devoured the curtains
  3. to consume greedily or avidly with the senses or mindhe devoured the manuscripts
  4. to engulf or absorbthe flood devoured the land
Show More
Derived Formsdevourer, noundevouring, adjectivedevouringly, adverb

Word Origin for devour

C14: from Old French devourer, from Latin dēvorāre to gulp down, from de- + vorāre to consume greedily; see voracious
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 devourer



early 14c., from Old French devorer (12c.) "devour, swallow up, engulf," from Latin devorare "swallow down, accept eagerly," from de- "down" (see de-) + vorare "to swallow" (see voracity). Related: Devoured; devouring.

Show More
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper