From Wiktionary, the free dictionary
Jump to navigation Jump to search



Inherited from Middle English devouren, from Old French devorer (Modern French dévorer), from Latin dēvorō, from vorō.



devour (third-person singular simple present devours, present participle devouring, simple past and past participle devoured)

  1. To eat quickly, greedily, hungrily, or ravenously.
    • 2017 [2013], Thomas Piketty, translated by Arthur Goldhammer, Capital in the Twenty-First Century, Belknap Press, →ISBN, page 571:
      Once constituted, capital reproduces itself faster than output increases. The past devours the future.
  2. To rapidly destroy, engulf, or lay waste.
    The fire was devouring the building.
  3. To take in avidly with the intellect or with one's gaze.
    She intended to devour the book.
    • 1914, Louis Joseph Vance, chapter I, in Nobody, New York, N.Y.: George H[enry] Doran Company, published 1915, →OCLC:
      Little disappointed, then, she turned attention to "Chat of the Social World," gossip which exercised potent fascination upon the girl's intelligence. She devoured with more avidity than she had her food those pretentiously phrased chronicles of the snobocracy […] distilling therefrom an acid envy that robbed her napoleon of all its savour.
  4. To absorb or engross the mind fully, especially in a destructive manner.
    After the death of his wife, he was devoured by grief.