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From Middle English ravenous, ravynous, from Old French ravineus.


  • IPA(key): /ˈɹævənəs/
  • (file)


ravenous (comparative more ravenous, superlative most ravenous)

  1. Very hungry.
    • 1922, Ben Travers, chapter 5, in A Cuckoo in the Nest:
      The most rapid and most seductive transition in all human nature is that which attends the palliation of a ravenous appetite. There is something humiliating about it.
    • 1970, Roald Dahl, Fantastic Mr. Fox, New York: Alfred A. Knopf, page 58:
      You must remember no one had eaten a thing for several days. They were ravenous. So for a while there was no conversation at all. There was only the sound of crunching and chewing as the animals attacked the succulent food.
    • 2008, BioWare, Mass Effect, Redwood City: Electronic Arts, →ISBN, OCLC 246633669, PC, scene: Biotics: Life as a Biotic Codex entry:
      Biotics possess extraordinary abilities, but they must live with minor inconveniences. The most obvious issue is getting adequate nutrition. Creating biotic mass effects takes such a toll on metabolism that active biotics develop ravenous appetites. The standard Alliance combat ration for a soldier is 3000 calories per day; biotics are given 4500, as well as a canteen of potent energy drink for quick refreshment after hard combat.
  2. Grasping; characterized by strong desires.
    • 1843, Thomas Carlyle, Past and Present, book 3, ch. IX, Working Aristocracy
      Supply-and-demand? One begins to be weary of such work. Leave all to egoism, to ravenous greed of money, of pleasure, of applause: — it is the Gospel of Despair!
    • 1986, John le Carré, A Perfect Spy:
      Mrs. Michael turned out to be a ravenous, fast-fading woman in a slashed skirt and a low blouse over an unappetising chest. While her husband did things in his shed, where he appeared to live, Pym inexpertly mixed the Yorkshire pudding and fought off her embraces...


Derived terms[edit]


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