Definition of omnivorous in English:



  • 1(of an animal or person) feeding on a variety of food of both plant and animal origin.

    • ‘When in coastal marshes, they are more omnivorous than most dabbling ducks, with mollusks, crustaceans, and arthropods making up nearly half of their diet.’
    • ‘He declared that while the red-muzzle mouse is omnivorous and feeds on vegetable and animal organic matter, it is ‘very rare’ that it should consume carrion.’
    • ‘Carnivory is the rule for softshells, but some species are omnivorous.’
    • ‘In theropods, the absence of strongly heterodont dentitions such as are typical of omnivorous mammals might reflect the limited resources that were available.’
    • ‘Sloth bears are omnivorous and feed on a variety of foods depending on what is available.’
    • ‘To accomplish this goal, we quantified the effects of variation in host plant quality and prey abundance on the intensity of interactions between an omnivorous insect and two herbivorous prey.’
    • ‘The main difference is the proportion of omnivorous species, which are represented exclusively by the bear because suids are absent from Europe during the early Pleistocene.’
    • ‘They are omnivorous, eating native birds and eggs, which they steal from the nest, and competing for food with birds.’
    • ‘The ornithomimids' beaked jaws were probably weak; it is thought that they may have been omnivorous, eating small animals and maybe some plant material.’
    • ‘Sea turtles are omnivorous and feed on a variety of sponges, cnidarians, mollusks, crustaceans, algae, plants, and fish.’
    • ‘Did you know they are omnivorous, eating grass, foliage, and any small animals they can chase down?’
    • ‘A recent article in the journal Nature, for example, reported that aquaculture for herbivorous or omnivorous species such as carp and molluscs can greatly contribute to global fish supplies.’
    • ‘When predators are omnivorous, prey may avoid predators that have fed on conspecific prey, but they may lack such a response if these same predators have consumed other food sources.’
    • ‘Vervet monkeys are omnivorous and consume a wide range of plant materials like fruits, seeds, sap, and flowers.’
    • ‘One of the major benefits of using omnivorous predators as biological control agents is the potential for predicting and promoting their efficacy.’
    • ‘Big-eyed bugs are omnivorous, generalist predators and their diverse range of prey species includes aphids and lepidopteran eggs.’
    • ‘Black bears are omnivorous; their diet consists of about 75 percent vegetable matter, 15 percent carrion, and 10 percent insects and small mammals.’
    • ‘The omnivorous scavengers could find food sources virtually anywhere and could survive without human care in the proper environment.’
    • ‘The overall craniodental morphology of the etruscan bear, U. etruscus, is similar to that of modern brown bears, Ursus arctos, thus suggesting that this extinct species was also omnivorous.’
    • ‘The heart of teleost fish is omnivorous in its preference for metabolic fuels.’
    eating a mixed diet, eating a varied diet, able to eat anything, all-devouring
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  • 2Indiscriminate in taking in or using whatever is available.

    ‘an omnivorous reader’
    • ‘Though I have been a voracious, omnivorous reader all my life, I haven't been interested in books other than field guides lately.’
    • ‘Always an omnivorous consumer of journalism, I’d begun reading the occasional reference to something called the ‘greenhouse effect’.’
    • ‘He is also known to nibble on British Comedy and is an omnivorous consumer of the popular musics.’
    • ‘An omnivorous consumer of books and news, he has been able to spot markets where networked computers running just the right program can save customers money.’
    • ‘He was an omnivorous, fast, and extraordinarily retentive reader.’
    undiscriminating, indiscriminate, unselective, uncritical
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Mid 17th century: from Latin omnivorus + -ous.