[om-niv-er-uh s]
  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.

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 Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Examples from the Web for omnivorously

Historical Examples of omnivorously

  • She plucked still, but neither so ruthlessly nor so omnivorously as of yore.

  • They found Gustavo hovering   omnivorously in the courtyard, hungering for news; Constance summoned him to her side.

    Jerry Junior

    Jean Webster

British Dictionary definitions for omnivorously


  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
Derived Formsomnivorously, adverbomnivorousness, noun

Word Origin for omnivorous

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 omnivorously



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

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper