Definition of carnivore in English:



  • 1An animal that feeds on other animals.

    • ‘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.’
    • ‘Plants also feed the marine life and animals the carnivores among us eat.’
    • ‘The natural world requires a balance of carnivores, omnivores and herbivores.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘Copper rockfish are opportunistic carnivores that feed mainly on organisms present near the ocean floor, usually crabs, mollusks and other fish.’
    • ‘The toes are very narrow, suggesting that the animal was a carnivore.’
    • ‘The carnivores feed on annelids, crustaceans, and fish.’
    • ‘The rich fossil record from the early Eocene Bighorn Basin includes the remains of the most ancient primates, hoofed animals, and carnivores.’
    • ‘Feeding on them are microscopic and macroscopic herbivores, with carnivores preying on them.’
    • ‘They included small, agile two- and four-legged forms, large four-legged carnivores, armored herbivores, and crocodile-like aquatic reptiles.’
    • ‘Just as carnivores eat meat and herbivores eat plant matter, frugivores subsist primarily on fruit.’
    • ‘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 plants supported a variety of large and small herbivores that in turn were prey for carnivores and scavengers.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘‘Salmon, for example, are carnivores, and are fed pellets made from other fish,’ the Suzuki Foundation explains.’
    • ‘Additionally, grasslands began to spread, and this led to an evolutionary radiation of open habitat herbivores and carnivores.’
    • ‘Salamanders are carnivores, feeding on insects, worms, and similar prey.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘Yet a new study shows that some invertebrate carnivores choose their prey carefully, day by day.’
    • ‘Seals and marine birds are also carnivores that dine at or near the top of the food chain (as did the extinct marine reptiles).’
    1. 1.1Zoology A mammal of the order "Carnivora".
      • ‘Small carnivores such as mongoose and crows pose a threat to the night heron chicks.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘Most drumming mammals are rodents, but drumming has also been described in carnivores, deer, rabbits, elephant shrews and marsupials.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘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.
      • ‘Our pursuit of this trait is somewhat like trying to make a vegetarian out of a carnivore.’
      • ‘The last soup I'm featuring is one that vegetarians and carnivores can both enjoy by simply modifying the stock.’
      • ‘Does the hands-on father who cooks for three vegetarians and three carnivores feel his upbringing is paying off?’
      • ‘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 used to love rotisserie, but I think I overdid it when I converted from a vegetarian back to a carnivore.’
      • ‘Veggies, vegans and grumbling carnivores can all sit down together at this cosmopolitan cornucopia of fusion cooking, finds Joanna Blythman’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘The list of main courses offered something for everyone - big eaters and small, vegetarians and carnivores.’
      • ‘Please don't insult us by sending a carnivore to tell us that vegetarian meals can be tasty.’
      • ‘There are two tasting menus, one for carnivores, the other vegetarian.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘I don't like, or eat, a lot of vegetables but that doesn't make me a carnivore, does it?’
      • ‘We have vegetarians and carnivores and everything in between.’
      • ‘At Jane Bond, the food is as rich and satisfying as any carnivore could wish.’
      • ‘It's completely delicious, and is usually enthusiastically devoured by both vegetarians and carnivores alike.’
      • ‘Theo's offers a wide range of food, catering well for both vegetarians and carnivores.’
      • ‘It is possible for carnivores to eat vegetarian food without any side effects.’
      • ‘You're a sometimes vegetarian, sometimes carnivore.’
      • ‘Vegetarians visit hospital 22% less often than carnivores, so saving £220 a head for the beleaguered health service.’
      • ‘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.’


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