[ 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.


1 sated.

Related forms

rav·en·ous·ly, adverbrav·en·ous·ness, noun

Can be confused

ravenous 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 ravenously

British Dictionary definitions for ravenously


/ (ˈrævənəs) /


famished; starving
rapacious; voracious

Derived Forms

ravenously, 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