verb (used with object), con·sumed, con·sum·ing.
  1. to destroy or expend by use; use up.
  2. to eat or drink up; devour.
  3. to destroy, as by decomposition or burning: Fire consumed the forest.
  4. to spend (money, time, etc.) wastefully.
  5. to absorb; engross: consumed with curiosity.
verb (used without object), con·sumed, con·sum·ing.
  1. to undergo destruction; waste away.
  2. to use or use up consumer goods.

Origin of consume

1350–1400; Middle English (< Middle French consumer) < Latin consūmere, equivalent to con- con- + sūmere to take up (perhaps < *suzm- < *subzm- < *subs-(e)m-, equivalent to subs-, variant of sub- sub- + emere to take, buy)
Related formshalf-con·sumed, adjectiveo·ver·con·sume, verb, o·ver·con·sumed, o·ver·con·sum·ing.pre·con·sume, verb (used with object), pre·con·sumed, pre·con·sum·ing.un·con·sumed, adjectiveun·der·con·sume, verb (used with object), un·der·con·sumed, un·der·con·sum·ing.

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

British Dictionary definitions for over-consuming


  1. (tr) to eat or drink
  2. (tr; often passive) to engross or obsess
  3. (tr) to use up; expendmy car consumes little oil
  4. to destroy or be destroyed by burning, decomposition, etcfire consumed the forest
  5. (tr) to waste or squanderthe time consumed on that project was excessive
  6. (passive) to waste away
Derived Formsconsuming, adjectiveconsumingly, adverb

Word Origin for consume

C14: from Latin consūmere to devour, from com- (intensive) + sūmere to take up, from emere to take, purchase
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 over-consuming



late 14c., from Old French consumer "to consume" (12c.) and directly from Latin consumere "to use up, eat, waste," from com-, intensive prefix (see com-), + sumere "to take," from sub- "under" + emere "to buy, take" (see exempt (adj.)).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper