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[kuh n-soom] /kənˈsum/
verb (used with object), consumed, consuming.
to destroy or expend by use; use up.
to eat or drink up; devour.
to destroy, as by decomposition or burning:
Fire consumed the forest.
to spend (money, time, etc.) wastefully.
to absorb; engross:
consumed with curiosity.
verb (used without object), consumed, consuming.
to undergo destruction; waste away.
to use or use up consumer goods.
1350-1400; Middle English (< Middle French consumer) < Latin consūmere, equivalent to con- con- + sūmere to take up (perhaps < *suzm- < *subzm- < *subs-(e)m-, equivalent to subs-, variant of sub- sub- + emere to take, buy)
Related forms
half-consumed, adjective
overconsume, verb, overconsumed, overconsuming.
preconsume, verb (used with object), preconsumed, preconsuming.
unconsumed, adjective
underconsume, verb (used with object), underconsumed, underconsuming.
1. exhaust, deplete. 4. squander, dissipate. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the web for consumed
  • However, the same flowers from a florist can be harmful if consumed because of what's added.
  • The generation that consumed the products that you fear is dying off.
  • Though his days were consumed with farm work, he was a voracious reader.
  • It was smaller, consumed less energy and was much more durable.
  • It also shows the product that is labeled to show any nutrition information on the food being consumed.
  • All of a sudden, the same disturbing look that had come over me consumed her.
  • Some of the buildings would be equipped with solar-energy systems that could produce more electricity than the buildings consumed.
  • Fearful of lawsuits, they are consumed by the legal obligations of personnel policies.
  • They represent knowledge to be learned, rather than consumed.
  • Only those consumed with jealousy and covetousness could support such an immoral piece of legislation.
British Dictionary definitions for consumed


(transitive) to eat or drink
(transitive; often passive) to engross or obsess
(transitive) to use up; expend: my car consumes little oil
to destroy or be destroyed by burning, decomposition, etc: fire consumed the forest
(transitive) to waste or squander: the time consumed on that project was excessive
(passive) to waste away
Derived Forms
consuming, adjective
consumingly, adverb
Word Origin
C14: from Latin consūmere to devour, from com- (intensive) + sūmere to take up, from emere to take, purchase
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 consumed



late 14c., from Old French consumer "to consume" (12c.) and directly from Latin consumere "to use up, eat, waste," from com-, intensive prefix (see com-), + sumere "to take," from sub- "under" + emere "to buy, take" (see exempt (adj.)).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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