• synonyms


[om-niv-er-uh s]
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  1. eating both animal and plant foods.
  2. eating all kinds of foods indiscriminately.
  3. taking in everything, as with the mind: an omnivorous reader.
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Origin of omnivorous

1650–60; < Latin omnivorus, equivalent to omni- omni- + -vorus -vorous
Related formsom·niv·o·rism, nounom·niv·o·rous·ly, adverbom·niv·o·rous·ness, nounom·niv·o·rism, noun
Can be confusedcarnivorous herbivorous omnivorous
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

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British Dictionary definitions for omnivorous


  1. eating food of both animal and vegetable origin, or any type of food indiscriminately
  2. taking in or assimilating everything, esp with the mind
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Derived Formsomnivorously, adverbomnivorousness, noun

Word Origin

C17: from Latin omnivorus all-devouring, from omni- + vorāre to eat greedily
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 omnivorous


1650s, from Latin omnivorus "all-devouring," from omnis "all" (see omni-) + vorare "devour, swallow" (see voracity). Related: Omnivorously; omnivorousness.

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

omnivorous in Science


  1. An organism that eats both plants and animals.
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Related formsomnivorous adjective
The American Heritage® Science Dictionary Copyright © 2011. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.