Definition of consume in English:

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Pronunciation: /kənˈso͞om/


[with object]
1Eat, drink, or ingest (food or drink): people consume a good deal of sugar in drinks
More example sentences
  • Anyway, the initial set back apart, the evening was most convivial, beers were consumed, food was ingested and chit was chatted.
  • It's caused by consuming food and drink with high acidity levels.
  • ‘Obviously a lot of extra food and drink is consumed at Christmas time,’ he said.
eat, devour, ingest, swallow, gobble up, wolf down, guzzle, feast on, snack on;
drink, gulp down, imbibe
informal tuck into, put away, polish off, dispose of, pig out on, down, swill, scarf (down/up)
1.1Buy (goods or services).
Example sentences
  • But our privacy from the marketplace is always qualified, because as long as we consume goods and services, then to some extent our private pursuits occur within the marketplace.
  • Society cannot survive on the intangible ‘feelgoods’ of ideas and creativity - it needs to consume goods and services produced.
  • Even in a global era, we live locally and consume goods and services at a local level.
1.2Use up (a resource): these machines consume 5 percent of the natural gas in the U.S.
More example sentences
  • Each human, particularly each American human, consumes enormous resources.
  • But this puts you back in the exact same trap: the second machine is consuming resources too.
  • American pacification efforts took on many forms and consumed enormous resources during the Vietnam War.
use (up), utilize, expend;
deplete, exhaust;
waste, squander, drain, dissipate, fritter away
1.3(Especially of a fire) completely destroy: the fire spread rapidly, consuming many homes
More example sentences
  • New Orleans city officials say the threat of their flooded, ruined city being consumed by fires is worsening by the hour.
  • The money often shared the fate of people and property - consumed by fire, drowned and otherwise destroyed.
  • Now Scotland on Sunday can reveal that the hut that helped fan the flames of devolution has itself been consumed by fire.
destroy, demolish, lay waste, wipe out, annihilate, devastate, gut, ruin, wreck
1.4 (usually be consumed) (Of a feeling) absorb all of the attention and energy of (someone): Carolyn was consumed with guilt
More example sentences
  • Scott felt the same feeling of guilt consume him again.
  • Such feelings often consumed the person to evil.
  • However, strange feelings often consumed me that made me wonder if she ever viewed me as something else.
eat up, devour, obsess, grip, overwhelm;
absorb, preoccupy
absorbing, compelling, compulsive, obsessive, overwhelming;
intense, ardent, strong, powerful, burning, raging, fervid, profound, deep-seated


Late Middle English: from Latin consumere, from con- 'altogether' + sumere 'take up'; reinforced by French consumer.

  • assume from Late Middle English:

    The word comes from Latin assumere formed from ad ‘towards’ and sumere ‘take, take up’. Sumere also gives us, from the same period consume ‘take up together’; presume ‘take before’ hence ‘take for granted’; and resume ‘take back’.

Words that rhyme with consume

abloom, assume, backroom, bloom, Blum, boom, broom, brume, combe, doom, entomb, exhume, flume, foredoom, fume, gloom, Hume, illume, inhume, Khartoum, khoum, loom, neume, perfume, plume, presume, resume, rheum, room, spume, subsume, tomb, vroom, whom, womb, zoom

For editors and proofreaders

Syllabification: con·sume

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