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
Related formsrav·en·ous·ly, adverbrav·en·ous·ness, noun
Can be confusedravenous ravaging ravishing (see synonym study at the current entry)

Synonyms for ravenous

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.

Antonyms for ravenous

1. sated.
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for ravenously

Historical Examples of ravenously

  • She was refreshed, buoyant, ravenously hungry and highly amused.


    Edward Elmer Smith

  • He invested a nickel in peanuts, and the pair devoured them ravenously.

    A Son of the City

    Herman Gastrell Seely

  • I found now that I was not injured, but I was ravenously hungry.

    Wandl the Invader

    Raymond King Cummings

  • They ravenously pick handfuls and armfuls as if they could never have enough.

    The Heart of Nature

    Francis Younghusband

  • As long as the men were in sight she focused her gaze on them ravenously.

    Brand Blotters

    William MacLeod Raine

British Dictionary definitions for ravenously



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 ravenously



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