Definition of consume in English:



[with object]
  • 1Eat, drink, or ingest (food or drink)

    ‘people consume a good deal of sugar in drinks’
    • ‘The teeth of children who consume acidic foods or drinks, become sensitive to hot and cold food and drink.’
    • ‘If sugary food or drinks are consumed too often, the saliva doesn't get long enough to fully remineralise the teeth.’
    • ‘For one month he would only consume food and drink available from McDonald's and he had to finish every meal.’
    • ‘During the Islamic month of fasting, Ramadan, no food or drink is consumed from sunrise to sunset.’
    • ‘Conversely, consuming hot food and drinks may raise the core body temperature.’
    • ‘Coffee is widely consumed; alcoholic drinks are forbidden to Muslims.’
    • ‘It's caused by consuming food and drink with high acidity levels.’
    • ‘Diabetics can take heart that they can consume the fruit or drink its juice without increasing the sugar level.’
    • ‘And after consuming their beer and food, they'd have had even less to carry out anyway, so there's just no excuse.’
    • ‘Herakles alone is positioned to consume food and drink.’
    • ‘To have a party means party guests spending a significant amount of time at one place, socialising while consuming food and drink.’
    • ‘At school Sarah consumed mainly processed food and fizzy drinks, but consumed vegetables with her evening meal most days.’
    • ‘‘Obviously a lot of extra food and drink is consumed at Christmas time,’ he said.’
    • ‘After putting various sauces and other things on them, they returned to their table and began to consume the food and drink they'd just ordered.’
    • ‘Designate a day to drink only water and consume no food.’
    • ‘In the same way that slimming pills claim to make you feel full without eating, these pills make it possible to feel drunk without actually consuming excessive alcohol.’
    • ‘Food poisoning is caused by consuming food or drink that is contaminated with bacteria, parasites or viruses.’
    • ‘Anyway, the initial set back apart, the evening was most convivial, beers were consumed, food was ingested and chit was chatted.’
    • ‘Because they are mostly Muslim, Egyptians do not consume pork or drink alcoholic beverages.’
    • ‘The milliliter of saliva normally in our mouth acts as a buffer, adjusting the pH level of the mouth as we consume acidic foods and drinks.’
    eat, eat up, devour, ingest, swallow, gobble, gobble up, wolf down, gorge oneself on, feast on
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    1. 1.1 (of a fire) completely destroy.
      ‘the fire spread rapidly, consuming many homes’
      • ‘During the 1941 Leningrad siege the Soyuzkino / Lenfilm complex was consumed by fire.’
      • ‘Many national parks were completely levelled and consumed by the fires, including the Serra Da Estrela National Park, which was hit by fires only last year.’
      • ‘The money often shared the fate of people and property - consumed by fire, drowned and otherwise destroyed.’
      • ‘Some plutonium was about to be consumed by fire.’
      • ‘An old tree is consumed with fire after a lightning strike and all around it the country has burnt to ash.’
      • ‘A house on the corner of Savoy Terrace and Long Lane was being consumed by fire.’
      • ‘Unfortunately, the severity of the fire meant that as he set a path for Le Bourget he lost both port engines as the fire consumed the left hand side of the aircraft and all controls failed to respond.’
      • ‘Now Scotland on Sunday can reveal that the hut that helped fan the flames of devolution has itself been consumed by fire.’
      • ‘The fire had consumed a historical lodge as well.’
      • ‘In September 1879 Deadwood, like the phoenix, was consumed by fire.’
      • ‘The house was tragically consumed by fire in 1974 leaving only the walls standing.’
      • ‘Moments later the beautiful 30-foot hand made sailing craft, which took a team of the town's men and boys three months to build was completely consumed by fire.’
      • ‘The parties apparently agree that the total rent earned by Kenneth on 1000 Dolson before it was consumed by fire was $9,500.’
      • ‘New Orleans city officials say the threat of their flooded, ruined city being consumed by fires is worsening by the hour.’
      • ‘The plane skidded about 200 yards, where it was then consumed by fire.’
      • ‘Six years later, a similar conflagration consumed the Opéra-Comique, destroying the score as Offenbach had left it.’
      • ‘It would hunt down the one that had entombed it, that had left it for dead, thinking that it would be consumed by the fire.’
      • ‘In forty days, Lynchburg will be consumed by fire.’
      • ‘The ensuing blaze rapidly consumed the hemp, caused bad damage to the barn and burnt out a nearby tractor before firefighters could tame it.’
      • ‘I will make tertiary backups of the movies for off-site storage in Fargo, in case fire consumes both Jasperwood and the Star-Tribune building.’
      destroy, demolish, lay waste, wipe out, annihilate, devastate
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    2. 1.2 Use up (a resource)
      ‘this process consumes enormous amounts of energy’
      • ‘Inevitably, where resources are consumed, waste is produced.’
      • ‘The first is Bullet Time, which gives him firm control over the situation but consumes the related resource pool, shown in an hourglass, at a high rate.’
      • ‘Haven't we chopped down forests, used oil, and otherwise consumed nonrenewable resources?’
      • ‘Because when you add up the total tax packages that the Republicans passed last year and this year, it literally consumes the entire surplus, and the winners turn out to be the wealthiest people.’
      • ‘After they've consumed every natural resource, they move on.’
      • ‘The study also revealed that humans are consuming natural resources 20 per cent faster than the earth can replenish them.’
      • ‘If I were a magician I would use my skills to produce for you an endless supply of commodity without consuming any resources.’
      • ‘These people see Tasmania as one big park - and it salves their consciences to call for its protection while busily consuming the planet's resources in their daily lives.’
      • ‘It also affects the environment, and transport consumes huge resources.’
      • ‘Each human, particularly each American human, consumes enormous resources.’
      • ‘That's right, I said it's more environmentally costly than giving every person on the train a car, because a train running empty consumes an enormous amount of energy.’
      • ‘But this puts you back in the exact same trap: the second machine is consuming resources too.’
      • ‘These are huge projects that will consume enormous amounts of copper and steel over the next decade, even if global GDP growth slows.’
      • ‘The solutions are not going to be perfect either - short of us leaving the planet, there is never going to be a time when we're not disturbing something, consuming a resource, or both.’
      • ‘As an additional benefit, military spending also consumes resources that might otherwise be used to woo our power-base of poverty stricken, powerless, despotically ruled zealots.’
      • ‘I don't want to write any more about this story, which has consumed an enormous amount of my time over the last week for very little reward.’
      • ‘China and India are growing at enormous speeds and consuming huge amounts of every commodity.’
      • ‘American pacification efforts took on many forms and consumed enormous resources during the Vietnam War.’
      • ‘It is also a bureaucratic mess, consuming untold resources which might otherwise have been devoted to fixing a real problem.’
      • ‘A firestorm would result: the heat in the central area rises so high that the fire consumes all available oxygen.’
      use, use up, utilize, expend
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  • 2Buy (goods or services)

    ‘accounting provides measures of the economic goods and services consumed’
    • ‘But our privacy from the marketplace is always qualified, because as long as we consume goods and services, then to some extent our private pursuits occur within the marketplace.’
    • ‘The population in this scheme was to be good for consuming foreign goods produced abroad with Russia's own cheaply sold raw materials.’
    • ‘Even in a global era, we live locally and consume goods and services at a local level.’
    • ‘But they could do much more, too - like reporting back to base on the rate at which the goods are consumed.’
    • ‘Luxury goods are not consumed by the poor or rank-and-file office workers, they can only be purchased by the wealthy.’
    • ‘Satisfaction has been regarded as an overall evaluation of the experience of owning and/or consuming a product or service.’
    • ‘If businesses consume any public services, such as training courses at colleges, then charge them a commercial rate - but why put a cost on all businesses that don't use such services?’
    • ‘A customer consumes the service as it is produced.’
    • ‘It still deals with group formation and with the provision of jointly consumed goods and services.’
    • ‘Put another way, we work so that we may consume goods or services that help us survive or give us pleasure, not simply for the sake of working.’
    • ‘Those same children will consume goods so producers can afford to make them and we can buy them too; the list of contributions to our way of life, whether or not they are our children, is an endless one.’
    • ‘Much of the costs involved are being added in the markets when the goods are consumed which is an added worry.’
    • ‘I'm grateful to Jackie for reminding me of the United States law which prohibits US citizens from consuming Cuban goods anywhere.’
    • ‘Hence, it is not strange that they are willing to consume services that are too expensive for poorer people.’
    • ‘As the old Act covered only registered dealers and taxed only specified goods, substantial revenue was lost though the goods were consumed in a local area.’
    • ‘I am consuming goods, thereby adding to the economics of the country.’
    • ‘I don't feel too concerned with where these people come from as they are creating their own jobs and in turn are feeding back into our economy by consuming goods.’
    • ‘Millions of fisherman and those who consume their goods might justifiably ask ‘why?’.’
    • ‘Society cannot survive on the intangible ‘feelgoods’ of ideas and creativity - it needs to consume goods and services produced.’
    • ‘Worse, they might avoid theft by prematurely consuming goods that they would otherwise save, thereby depleting the social store of wealth over time.’
  • 3(of a feeling) completely fill the mind of (someone)

    ‘Carolyn was consumed with guilt’
    • ‘Depression consumed him and, at his lowest ebb, he admits to contemplating suicide.’
    • ‘It is time to stand up and be counted as model citizens before the terror consumes us all.'’
    • ‘As I walked up the hill to the theatre my anticipation was almost consuming me.’
    • ‘So many negative emotions have consumed her over the years.’
    • ‘The anticipation consumed us as we waited for the official results.’
    • ‘Stop letting your hate consume you and go do something with your lives.’
    • ‘Sometimes, however, overwhelming feelings of anger can consume us.’
    • ‘He was consumed by a feeling of complete hopelessness.’
    • ‘We stand where we were - fear, complacency and self pity consuming us.’
    • ‘Her thoughtless words had already angered her faceless master greatly, and an ominous feeling of dread consumed her the longer she thought of it.’
    • ‘Such feelings often consumed the person to evil.’
    • ‘Fury consumed me and rage flowed through my veins like hot lava.’
    • ‘Within her mind, her thoughts toss as fear consumes her with the mention of it.’
    • ‘I want a job so much I feel the desire consuming me, sapping my energy.’
    • ‘Scott felt the same feeling of guilt consume him again.’
    • ‘Tal could feel control slipping, which was odd because he had not relinquished it and the familiar feeling of transformation consumed him.’
    • ‘A queasy feeling consumed me and I made a mad dash for the bathroom that I knew was located through the door with the picture of Orlando Bloom on it.’
    • ‘I'd arrive at my teacher's house and fear would instantly consume me.’
    • ‘However, strange feelings often consumed me that made me wonder if she ever viewed me as something else.’
    • ‘The more alcohol he consumed, the more anger and jealousy consumed him.’
    absorb, preoccupy, engross
    absorbing, compelling, preoccupying, engrossing, all-consuming, compulsive, besetting
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Late Middle English: from Latin consumere, from con- ‘altogether’ + sumere ‘take up’; reinforced by French consumer.