Definition of omnivorous in English:


Line breaks: om|niv¦or|ous
Pronunciation: /ɒmˈnɪv(ə)rəs


1(Of an animal or person) feeding on a variety of food of both plant and animal origin.
More example sentences
  • Sloth bears are omnivorous and feed on a variety of foods depending on what is available.
  • Sea turtles are omnivorous and feed on a variety of sponges, cnidarians, mollusks, crustaceans, algae, plants, and fish.
  • He declared that while the red-muzzle mouse is omnivorous and feeds on vegetable and animal organic matter, it is ‘very rare’ that it should consume carrion.
eating a mixed/varied diet, able to eat anything, all-devouring
rare pantophagous, pamphagous, pantophagic, omnivorant
2Indiscriminate in taking in or using whatever is available: an omnivorous reader
More example sentences
  • He was an omnivorous, fast, and extraordinarily retentive reader.
  • Though I have been a voracious, omnivorous reader all my life, I haven't been interested in books other than field guides lately.
  • Always an omnivorous consumer of journalism, I’d begun reading the occasional reference to something called the ‘greenhouse effect’.


mid 17th century: from Latin omnivorus + -ous.



More example sentences
  • Lawyers read omnivorously, for though books were somewhat scarce in the colonial period, there was a lot of time in which to read.
  • He spent his time reading omnivorously and engaging in doctrinal squabbles with other left-wing German refugees.
  • Amidst all this solemn and committed political life Macmillan had time to keep a diary (with some gaps) and to read omnivorously, mainly but not entirely the English classics.


More example sentences
  • On enumerating some of them, commenters said that these questions were ‘absurd’ and (I think) they thought that I was arguing absurdities, or that I was trying to use them to justify omnivorousness.
  • Regulars will know of this column's admiration for the uncritical omnivorousness of the Dutch site.
  • This perceived omnivorousness aggravates specialists such as Williams who have painstakingly developed unique disciplines only to see them apparently subsumed under ‘permaculture.’

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