[ rav-uh-nuhs ]
/ ˈræv ə nəs /


extremely hungry; famished; voracious: feeling ravenous after a hard day's work.
extremely rapacious: a ravenous jungle beast.
intensely eager for gratification or satisfaction.

Origin of ravenous

1350–1400; Middle English < Old French ravineus, equivalent to ravin(er) to raven2 + -eus -ous
1 greedy, starved, devouring. Ravenous, ravening, voracious suggest a greediness for food and usually intense hunger. Ravenous implies extreme hunger, or a famished condition: ravenous wild beasts. Ravening adds the idea of fierceness and savagery, especially as shown in a violent manner of acquiring food: ravening wolves. Voracious implies craving or eating a great deal of food: a voracious child; a voracious appetite. It may also be used figuratively: a voracious reader.
2 predatory.
Related formsrav·en·ous·ly, adverbrav·en·ous·ness, noun
Can be confusedravenous ravaging ravishing (see synonym study at the current entry)
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for ravenous

British Dictionary definitions for ravenous


/ (ˈrævənəs) /


famished; starving
rapacious; voracious
Derived Formsravenously, adverbravenousness, noun

Word Origin for ravenous

C16: from Old French ravineux, from Latin rapīna plunder, from rapere to seize
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 ravenous



late 14c., "obsessed with plundering, extremely greedy," from Old French ravinos, of people, "rapacious, violent," of water, "swift-flowing," from raviner "to seize," from ravine "violent rush, robbery" (see ravine). Meaning "voracious, very hungry" is from early 15c. Related: Ravenously; ravenousness.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper