Definition of carnivore in English:



  • 1An animal that feeds on other animals.

    • ‘In their turn the herbivores are eaten by carnivores or by scavengers and, eventually, all organisms are broken down by bacteria into nutrients that return to the environment.’
    • ‘The carnivores feed on annelids, crustaceans, and fish.’
    • ‘The plants supported a variety of large and small herbivores that in turn were prey for carnivores and scavengers.’
    • ‘A total of 6,000 fish insects, amphibians, birds, carnivores, and primates live at the zoo, half of which are rare animals protected by the government.’
    • ‘Plants also feed the marine life and animals the carnivores among us eat.’
    • ‘Feeding on them are microscopic and macroscopic herbivores, with carnivores preying on them.’
    • ‘Additionally, grasslands began to spread, and this led to an evolutionary radiation of open habitat herbivores and carnivores.’
    • ‘The toes are very narrow, suggesting that the animal was a carnivore.’
    • ‘They included small, agile two- and four-legged forms, large four-legged carnivores, armored herbivores, and crocodile-like aquatic reptiles.’
    • ‘The rich fossil record from the early Eocene Bighorn Basin includes the remains of the most ancient primates, hoofed animals, and carnivores.’
    • ‘Seals and marine birds are also carnivores that dine at or near the top of the food chain (as did the extinct marine reptiles).’
    • ‘During this time, all the big herbivores and carnivores were great lumbering creatures; some of which may have been semi-aquatic, while others were fully terrestrial.’
    • ‘‘Salmon, for example, are carnivores, and are fed pellets made from other fish,’ the Suzuki Foundation explains.’
    • ‘The natural world requires a balance of carnivores, omnivores and herbivores.’
    • ‘Just as carnivores eat meat and herbivores eat plant matter, frugivores subsist primarily on fruit.’
    • ‘Copper rockfish are opportunistic carnivores that feed mainly on organisms present near the ocean floor, usually crabs, mollusks and other fish.’
    • ‘Being omnivores, early human beings evolved in an environment in which they scavenged and hunted other animals for survival, just as other omnivores and carnivores do.’
    • ‘Yet a new study shows that some invertebrate carnivores choose their prey carefully, day by day.’
    • ‘The tiger is a top-level carnivore and if the animal and its habitat are protected, naturally all the micro flora and fauna and dependent animals in the habitat will get protection.’
    • ‘Salamanders are carnivores, feeding on insects, worms, and similar prey.’
    1. 1.1Zoology A mammal of the order Carnivora.
      • ‘But wildlife experts believe that the pine marten - the second-rarest carnivore in Britain after the wild cat - has returned to the North York Moors.’
      • ‘Most drumming mammals are rodents, but drumming has also been described in carnivores, deer, rabbits, elephant shrews and marsupials.’
      • ‘Spotted hyenas are gregarious carnivores that live in social groups, called clans, composed of multiple matrilines of adult females and their offspring, as well as one or more adult immigrant males.’
      • ‘Small carnivores such as mongoose and crows pose a threat to the night heron chicks.’
      • ‘Fish owls, jungle cats, civets (a carnivore related to the mongoose), and even house cats are reported to eat them.’
    2. 1.2informal A person who is not a vegetarian.
      • ‘We have vegetarians and carnivores and everything in between.’
      • ‘Veggies, vegans and grumbling carnivores can all sit down together at this cosmopolitan cornucopia of fusion cooking, finds Joanna Blythman’
      • ‘You're a sometimes vegetarian, sometimes carnivore.’
      • ‘It is possible for carnivores to eat vegetarian food without any side effects.’
      • ‘The list of main courses offered something for everyone - big eaters and small, vegetarians and carnivores.’
      • ‘Try to stop even the most rabid carnivore from choosing risotto with spring vegetables, oven-roasted mushrooms with taleggio fondue or pasta with roasted fennel and olives.’
      • ‘It's completely delicious, and is usually enthusiastically devoured by both vegetarians and carnivores alike.’
      • ‘I used to love rotisserie, but I think I overdid it when I converted from a vegetarian back to a carnivore.’
      • ‘Please don't insult us by sending a carnivore to tell us that vegetarian meals can be tasty.’
      • ‘At the risk of trivialising the issue, it is analogous to the number of carnivores who would rapidly become vegetarian, if they had to kill their food themselves.’
      • ‘I don't like, or eat, a lot of vegetables but that doesn't make me a carnivore, does it?’
      • ‘At Jane Bond, the food is as rich and satisfying as any carnivore could wish.’
      • ‘Theo's offers a wide range of food, catering well for both vegetarians and carnivores.’
      • ‘The last soup I'm featuring is one that vegetarians and carnivores can both enjoy by simply modifying the stock.’
      • ‘There are two tasting menus, one for carnivores, the other vegetarian.’
      • ‘Does the hands-on father who cooks for three vegetarians and three carnivores feel his upbringing is paying off?’
      • ‘Vegetarians visit hospital 22% less often than carnivores, so saving £220 a head for the beleaguered health service.’
      • ‘We honor the food choices of both carnivores and vegetarians alike, and in doing so, hope to open new windows of opportunity for folks to explore.’
      • ‘Whether you're a vegetarian or carnivore, Julio's will fire you up some fine Mexican fare and serve it to your table still sizzling.’
      • ‘Our pursuit of this trait is somewhat like trying to make a vegetarian out of a carnivore.’


Mid 19th century: from French, from Latin carnivorus (see carnivorous).