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

Definition of omnivorous in English:


1(Of an animal or person) feeding on a variety of food of both plant and animal origin.
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.



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.


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.’

Words that rhyme with omnivorous

carnivorous, herbivorous, insectivorous

Definition of omnivorous in:

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