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Borrowed from Latin ēsurient, ēsurientem, from ēsuriēns (hungering), present participle of ēsuriō (to be hungry, to hunger for something), a desiderative verb from edō (to eat) (ultimately from Proto-Indo-European *h₁édti (to eat)) + -turiō (suffix indicating a desire for an action).[1]


  • (Received Pronunciation) IPA(key): /ɪˈsjʊə.ɹɪ.ənt/, /ɪˈʃʊə.ɹi.ənt/, /iː-/, /ɛ-/, /ə-/
    • (file)
  • (General American) IPA(key): /ɪˈsʊ.ɹi.ənt/, /ə-/, /-ˈzʊ-/
  • Hyphenation: esu‧ri‧ent


esurient (comparative more esurient, superlative most esurient)

  1. (formal, now often humorous) Very greedy or hungry; ravenous; (figuratively) avid, eager. [from late 17th c.]
    Synonyms: see Thesaurus:voracious
    • 1685, Samuel Collins, “Of the Serous Ferment of the Stomach”, in A Systeme Of Anatomy, Treating of the Body of Man, Beasts, Birds, Fish, Insects, and Plants. [], volume I (Containing the Parts of the Lowest Apartiment of the Body of Man and Other Animals, &c.), in the Savoy [London]: Printed by Thomas Newcomb, →OCLC, book I, 2nd part (Of the Three Appartiments of Mans Body, []), page 306:
      So that (as I apprehend) theſe Famelick, Eſurient, and Sitient Spirits are not the Ferments product of Concoction in the Ventricle, but only incentives, ordained by nature to render us deſirous of Aliment, to repair the decaying frame of our Body.
    • 1719, Thomas Fuller, Pharmacopœia Extemporanea: Or, A Body of Medicines, [], 3rd edition, London: Printed for W. and J. Innys, [], →OCLC, page 158:
      Calcin'd Hartſhorn being a mere Terra damnata, wholly bereav'd of all Salts, muſt needs, as it boils in Water, imbibe the Salt of that Water, and leave its Pores empty and eſurient: And then that eſurient Water taken into our Viſcera and Veſſels, will greedily ſuck into it whatſoever Salts it finds, and will carry them out of the Body with it.
    • 1833 August, [Thomas Carlyle], “Count Cagliostro: In Two Flights. Flight Last.”, in Fraser’s Magazine for Town and Country, volume VIII, number XLIV, London: James Fraser [], →OCLC, page 147, column 1:
      Nay, is it not cunning (couple it with an esurient character) the natural consequence of defective intellect? It is properly the vehement exercise of a short, poor vision; of an intellect sunk, bemired; which can attain to no free vision, otherwise it would lead the esurient man to be honest.
    • 1837, Thomas Carlyle, “Maurepas”, in The French Revolution: A History [], volume I (The Bastille), London: Chapman and Hall, →OCLC, book II (The Paper Age), page 43:
      Caron Beaumarchais (or de Beaumarchais [Pierre-Augustin Caron de Beaumarchais], for he got ennobled) had been born poor, but aspiring, esurient; with talents, audacity, adroitness; above all, with the talent for intrigue: a lean, but also tough indomitable man.
    • 1981, Derek Mahon, Courtyards in Delft (Gallery Books), Dublin: Gallery Press, →ISBN; quoted in The Recorder: A Journal of the American Irish Historical Society, New York, N.Y.: American Irish Historical Society, 1996, →ISSN, →OCLC, page 73:
      That girl with her back to us who waits / For her man to come home for his tea / Will wait until the paint disintegrates / And ruined dikes admit the esurient sea; []
    • 1983, Alasdair Gray, “Sir Thomas’s Logopandocy”, in Unlikely Stories, Mostly, Edinburgh: Canongate, →ISBN; republished as Unlikely Stories, Mostly (Canongate Classics; 81), Edinburgh: Canongate, 1997, →ISBN, paragraph 149, page 180:
      I answered that such freedom would be worse than the vilest slavery, for it would leave me free to do nothing but grappel till death with clusterfist creditors and esurient Kirkists; []

Derived terms[edit]

Related terms[edit]



esurient (plural esurients)

  1. One who is greedy or hungry.
    • 1691, [Anthony Wood], “PHILIPP NYE”, in Athenæ Oxonienses. An Exact History of All the Writers and Bishops who have had Their Education in the Most Ancient and Famous University of Oxford from the Fifteenth Year of King Henry the Seventh, Dom. 1500, to the End of the Year 1690. [], volume II (Completing the Whole Work), London: [] Tho[mas] Bennet [], →OCLC, column 370:
      Sure it is that he [Philip Nye] was a moſt dangerous and ſeditious Perſon, a politick Pulpit driver of Independency, an inſatiable eſurient after riches, and what not to raiſe a family and to heap up wealth.
    • 1878, M[aurice] O’Connor Morris, chapter II, in Hibernia Venatica, London: Chapman and Hall, [], →OCLC, page 9:
      [S]ome noble sportsmen have, I hear, with a view to improve their [i.e., young foxes'] physique and to initiate them early into training, supplied the young esurients and their mammas and papas with Spratt's dog biscuits, by a due course of which food it may be supposed, theoretically, they would be put on a level with their pursuers so far as condition went, while their wily instincts would be so much weight in their favour in the great handicap 'twixt fox and hound.


See also[edit]


  1. ^ Compare “esurient, adj. and n.”, in OED Online Paid subscription required, Oxford, Oxfordshire: Oxford University Press, 1891; “esurient”, in Lexico,; Oxford University Press, 2019–2022.






  1. third-person plural future active indicative of ēsuriō