• synonyms


[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.
Show More

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

Examples from the Web for omnivorously

Historical Examples

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

    The Cab of the Sleeping Horse

    John Reed Scott

  • 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
Show More
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 omnivorously



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

Show More
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper