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[kahr-niv-er-uh s] /kɑrˈnɪv ər əs/
A dog is a carnivorous animal.
of the carnivores.
Origin of carnivorous
1640-50; < Latin carnivorus, equivalent to carni- (combining form of carō flesh) + -vorus -vorous
Related forms
carnivorism, noun
carnivorously, adverb
carnivorousness, noun
noncarnivorous, adjective
noncarnivorously, adverb
noncarnivorousness, noun
uncarnivorous, adjective
uncarnivorously, adverb
uncarnivorousness, noun
Can be confused
carnivorous, herbivorous, omnivorous.
1. meat-eating, predatory, predacious. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the web for carnivorous
  • carnivorous tigerfish had braved the poisoned streams and were feeding on flesh that had fallen into the water.
  • carnivorous bottom feeders, eating mostly fish and invertebrates.
  • Sea hares feed on algae, while nudibranchs are all carnivorous.
  • The farming of carnivorous fish also involves the use of feed made from other fish species caught in the wild.
  • carnivorous plants chomp down on insects in unusual ways.
  • Around the world carnivorous plants are on the decline, the victims of habitat loss, illegal poaching and pollution.
  • carnivorous lunches with one of his brothers represent a brief but regular weekday reprieve for him.
  • Aquatic carnivorous bladderworts catch prey with suction traps.
  • After all, many carnivorous animals devour their prey alive.
  • The warm blooded carnivorous types come in many different shapes, sizes and colors.
British Dictionary definitions for carnivorous


(esp of animals) feeding on flesh
(of plants such as the pitcher plant and sundew) able to trap and digest insects and other small animals
of or relating to the Carnivora
(informal) aggressively ambitious or reactionary
Derived Forms
carnivorously, adverb
carnivorousness, noun
Word Origin
C17: from Latin carnivorus, from carō flesh + vorāre to consume
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for carnivorous

1640s, from Latin carnivorus "flesh-eating, feeding on flesh," from caro (genitive carnis) "flesh" (see carnage) + vorare "to devour" (see voracity).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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