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From Latin vorāx, from vorō (I devour).



voracious (comparative more voracious, superlative most voracious)

  1. Wanting or devouring great quantities of food.
    • 1719 May 6 (Gregorian calendar), [Daniel Defoe], The Life and Strange Surprizing Adventures of Robinson Crusoe, [], 3rd edition, London: [] W[illiam] Taylor [], published 1719, →OCLC:
      I never had so much as [] one wish to God to direct me whither I should go, or to keep me from the danger which apparently surrounded me, as well from voracious creatures as cruel savages.
    • 1838, Boz [pseudonym; Charles Dickens], chapter 45, in Oliver Twist; or, The Parish Boy’s Progress. [], volumes (please specify |volume=I, II, or III), London: Richard Bentley, [], →OCLC:
      The old man was up, betimes, next morning, and waited impatiently for the appearance of his new associate, who after a delay that seemed interminable, at length presented himself, and commenced a voracious assault on the breakfast.
    • 1917, Jack London, “The Human Drift”, in The Human Drift, New York: Macmillan, page 3:
      Retreating before stronger breeds, hungry and voracious, the Eskimo has drifted to the inhospitable polar regions, the Pygmy to the fever-rotten jungles of Africa.
  2. Having a great appetite for anything; eager.
    a voracious reader
    • 1922, Walter Lippmann, chapter 7, in Public Opinion:
      If he carried chiefly his appetite, a zeal for tiled bathrooms, a conviction that the Pullman car is the acme of human comfort, and a belief that it is proper to tip waiters, taxicab drivers, and barbers, but under no circumstances station agents and ushers, then his Odyssey will be replete with good meals and bad meals, bathing adventures, compartment-train escapades, and voracious demands for money.
    • 2005 August 29, Nathan Thornburgh, “The Invasion of the Chinese Cyberspies”, in Time:
      Methodical and voracious, these hackers wanted all the files they could find.


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