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[dih-vou-uh r, -vou-er] /dɪˈvaʊ ər, -ˈvaʊ ər/
verb (used with object)
to swallow or eat up hungrily, voraciously, or ravenously.
to consume destructively, recklessly, or wantonly:
Fire devoured the old museum.
to engulf or swallow up.
to take in greedily with the senses or intellect:
to devour the works of Freud.
to absorb or engross wholly:
a mind devoured by fears.
1275-1325; Middle English devouren < Anglo-French, Old French devourer < Latin dēvorāre to swallow down, equivalent to dē- de- + vorāre to eat up
Related forms
devourer, noun
devouringly, adverb
devouringness, noun
interdevour, verb (used with object)
predevour, verb (used with object)
redevour, verb (used with object)
self-devouring, adjective
undevoured, adjective Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the web for devoured
  • It is discovered and devoured by students, coworkers, and place of employment.
  • Shipworms devoured wooden objects that could be identifying.
  • Chickens are prey animals, and they sleep so soundly that they seem unconscious-morsels waiting to be devoured.
  • And for those involved, it apparently feels good to be thus devoured whole and to live in its belly.
  • And yet some approaches still let you feel you're being devoured by remoteness.
  • It's more likely that some of the individual fish will escape uneaten, instead of the entire shoal being devoured.
  • The foxes devoured eggs and goslings, which couldn't fly to escape.
  • Those who do not seek to live in harmony with nature risk being devoured by nature.
  • And still investors devoured the shares of these profitless dot-com tillers.
  • Endurance athletes who race for hours worry they haven't devoured enough.
British Dictionary definitions for devoured


verb (transitive)
to swallow or eat up greedily or voraciously
to waste or destroy; consume: the flames devoured the curtains
to consume greedily or avidly with the senses or mind: he devoured the manuscripts
to engulf or absorb: the flood devoured the land
Derived Forms
devourer, noun
devouring, adjective
devouringly, adverb
Word Origin
C14: from Old French devourer, from Latin dēvorāre to gulp down, from de- + vorāre to consume greedily; see voracious
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 devoured



early 14c., from Old French devorer (12c.) "devour, swallow up, engulf," from Latin devorare "swallow down, accept eagerly," from de- "down" (see de-) + vorare "to swallow" (see voracity). Related: Devoured; devouring.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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