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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. 2014.
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Examples for consumes
  • We're totally uprooting in this move, and preparing for it consumes a lot of time and emotional energy.
  • As you said, a sleeping laptop consumes almost no energy.
  • No novel or play or long poem will offer its full rewards to someone who consumes it in small chunks and crumbs.
  • Healing consumes a lot of physical and mental resources.
  • Virtually everything the city consumes and throws away arrives and departs by truck.
  • It consumes his life, and his knowledge of music is encyclopedic.
  • She said the only thing she consumes while watching movies is bottled water.
  • And it was not merely about strategy-the backbiting that always consumes losing campaigns.
  • The average employee consumes more of it, for longer, at a higher price.
  • The second danger is that the protest consumes its own energy.
British Dictionary definitions for consumes


(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 consumes
late 14c., from L. consumere "to use up, eat, waste," from com- intensive prefix + sumere "to take," from sub- "under" + emere "to buy, take" (see exempt).
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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