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From Old French gloton, gluton, from Latin gluto, glutonis. Application of the term to the wolverine was due to the belief that the animal was inordinately voracious, and to the German designation of it as the Vielfraß, which was analyzed as viel (much) + fressen (eat)[1] although it actually derives from Old Norse.[2]



glutton (comparative more glutton, superlative most glutton)

  1. Gluttonous; greedy; gormandizing.
    • 1655, Thomas Fuller, Church-History of Britain
      A glutton monastery in former ages makes a hungry ministry in our days.
    • 1597, William Shakespeare, 2 Henry IV i 3:
      So, so, thou common dog, didst thou disgorge
      Thy glutton bosom of the royal Richard?


glutton (plural gluttons)

  1. One who eats voraciously, obsessively, or to excess; a gormandizer.
    Such a glutton would eat until his belly hurts.
  2. (figurative) One who consumes voraciously, obsessively, or to excess
  3. (now rare) The wolverine, Gulo gulo.
    • 1791, Joseph Priestley, Letters to Burke, VII:
      [A] civil establishment [] is the animal called a glutton, which falling from a tree (in which it generally conceals itself) upon some noble animal, immediately begins to tear it, and suck its blood [] .



See also[edit]


glutton (third-person singular simple present gluttons, present participle gluttoning, simple past and past participle gluttoned)

  1. (archaic) To glut; to satisfy (especially an appetite) by filling to capacity.
    • a. 1657, Richard Lovelace, On Sanazar's Hundred Duckets by hte Clarissimi of Venice
      Glutton'd at last, return at home to pine.
    • 1915, Journeyman Barber, Hairdresser, Cosmetologist and Proprietor:
      In some cities their [local branches] have become gluttoned with success, and in their misguided overzealous ambition they are 'killing the goose that lays the golden egg.'
  2. (obsolete) To glut; to eat voraciously.

Related terms[edit]


  1. ^ glutton” in Unabridged,, LLC, 1995–present.
  2. ^ glutton in Duden online