One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
1(of an animal or person) feeding on a variety of food of both plant and animal origin.
eating a mixed diet, eating a varied diet, able to eat anything, all-devouringView synonyms
- ‘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.’
- ‘The heart of teleost fish is omnivorous in its preference for metabolic fuels.’
- ‘Vervet monkeys are omnivorous and consume a wide range of plant materials like fruits, seeds, sap, and flowers.’
- ‘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.’
- ‘Did you know they are omnivorous, eating grass, foliage, and any small animals they can chase down?’
- ‘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.’
- ‘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.’
- ‘Big-eyed bugs are omnivorous, generalist predators and their diverse range of prey species includes aphids and lepidopteran eggs.’
- ‘Sea turtles are omnivorous and feed on a variety of sponges, cnidarians, mollusks, crustaceans, algae, plants, and fish.’
- ‘In theropods, the absence of strongly heterodont dentitions such as are typical of omnivorous mammals might reflect the limited resources that were available.’
- ‘They are omnivorous, eating native birds and eggs, which they steal from the nest, and competing for food with birds.’
- ‘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 omnivorous scavengers could find food sources virtually anywhere and could survive without human care in the proper environment.’
- ‘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.’
- ‘Sloth bears are omnivorous and feed on a variety of foods depending on what is available.’
- ‘When in coastal marshes, they are more omnivorous than most dabbling ducks, with mollusks, crustaceans, and arthropods making up nearly half of their diet.’
- ‘Carnivory is the rule for softshells, but some species are omnivorous.’
- ‘One of the major benefits of using omnivorous predators as biological control agents is the potential for predicting and promoting their efficacy.’
- ‘Black bears are omnivorous; their diet consists of about 75 percent vegetable matter, 15 percent carrion, and 10 percent insects and small mammals.’
- ‘The ornithomimids' beaked jaws were probably weak; it is thought that they may have been omnivorous, eating small animals and maybe some plant material.’
2Indiscriminate in taking in or using whatever is available.‘an omnivorous reader’
undiscriminating, indiscriminate, unselective, uncriticalView synonyms
- ‘Always an omnivorous consumer of journalism, Id begun reading the occasional reference to something called the ‘greenhouse effect’.’
- ‘He was an omnivorous, fast, and extraordinarily retentive reader.’
- ‘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.’
- ‘Though I have been a voracious, omnivorous reader all my life, I haven't been interested in books other than field guides lately.’
Mid 17th century: from Latin omnivorus + -ous.
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