Definition of herbivore in English:



  • An animal that feeds on plants.

    [as modifier] ‘predatory carnivores and their herbivore prey’
    • ‘Plants, herbivores and carnivores are connected through an intricate array of chemical linkages.’
    • ‘The plants supported a variety of large and small herbivores that in turn were prey for carnivores and scavengers.’
    • ‘Numerous ecological studies have demonstrated that attack by herbivores can reduce plant fitness.’
    • ‘These animals are herbivores, specializing on the flowers of creosote bushes.’
    • ‘This includes both carnivores such as wolves, which eat other animals, and herbivores such as cows, which eat plants.’
    • ‘Bristletails are nocturnal herbivores and detritivores with a very broad dietary range.’
    • ‘Two basic assumptions lie at the root of most theories of coevolution between plants and their herbivores.’
    • ‘Also known as a ‘parrot lizard’ for its parrotlike beak, the herbivore was a strong, agile dinosaur that walked on its two hind legs.’
    • ‘Biomass of herbivores and predators may also reflect resource levels and plant biomass.’
    • ‘They do not use this horn to ‘spike’ animals for food, as they are plant eating herbivores.’
    • ‘When Jane Goodall first witnessed and wrote of chimps eating meat, our notion of these primates as passive herbivores changed completely.’
    • ‘Many herbivores, including the elephants of today, are exceptionally strong swimmers.’
    • ‘Feeding on them are microscopic and macroscopic herbivores, with carnivores preying on them.’
    • ‘One surface represented the pattern of selection exerted by herbivores alone on these characters.’
    • ‘Animals can obtain their phosphorus directly form the plants if the animal is a herbivore.’
    • ‘Researchers believe that the goose was evolving into the niche of mammalian herbivores which were missing from the islands.’
    • ‘Any sensible person could see that it could not be healthy to feed sheep remains to herbivores such as cows.’
    • ‘The longer herbivore gut is necessary because plant material is more difficult to digest than animal material.’
    • ‘The previously discussed benefits of large size to a mammalian herbivore probably also accrued to large herbivorous dinosaurs.’
    • ‘The natural world requires a balance of carnivores, omnivores and herbivores.’


Mid 19th century: from Latin herba herb + -vore (see -vorous).