Definition of consumable in US English:



  • (of an item for sale) intended to be used up and then replaced.

    • ‘Mangold says Mackendrick taught him to think of his work not as a consumable item swallowed up by the box office and then forgotten, but as art that lasts.’
    • ‘The grants are intended to cover the costs of specialized equipment, essential consumable material, and scientific literature.’
    • ‘The film holds promise for those who are open to deriving their pleasure from characterisation rather than the more readily consumable series of events that popular films usually rely on to maintain interest.’
    • ‘The site showcases photography, design and desirable consumable items and just like the style magazine original, it's all done in the hippest possible taste.’
    • ‘The list of these consumable materials goes on and on.’
    • ‘We feel that none of us needs a gift for the sake of having a gift and also often resort to consumable items like a good bottle of wine.’
    • ‘And if we go to Mars, we're going to have to learn to live off the land as well - learn to extract water and oxygen and other consumable materials from the Martian environment so as to minimise the amount of mass you need to take and bring back.’
    • ‘The supply chain is comprised of the vendors and suppliers that provide consumable materials and refurbishment services to the supply system and depot.’
    • ‘As workers we are the makers of our world, not just the buyers of consumable parts of it.’
    • ‘It's trying to see life in terms of a natural thing rather than as a process of consumption, because consumer society starts to make you think of people as other consumable goods, which is really not a good way to think.’
    • ‘Boo! entered the South African music scene in October 1997, with their mind-bendingly weird, though deliciously consumable sound.’
    • ‘Its booths selling milk in readily consumable forms are gradually on the rise.’
    • ‘More than twenty years of instructional lessons in self-regulated writing strategies have been transformed into consumable materials ready for classroom use.’
    • ‘Zhou considered the difficulties faced by women PhDs when seeking boyfriends to be quite deep rooted and unlikely to disappear until society accepted women as more than consumable items for viewing and enjoying.’
    • ‘However, our readers require more and so I must try to do justice to this cornucopia of consumable marvels.’
    • ‘The authorities should standardise the quality of all consumable goods supplied for distribution and certify them with ISI marking.’
    • ‘So, yes, if you've ever wondered why printers themselves were so cheap, it's because the people that make them make insane profits when you go to stock up on the hardware's consumable bits.’
    • ‘But as Hugh Pearman noted, the microflat down-graded the home from a spatial concept to little more than a consumable object, an over-the-counter gadget, the iPod of housing.’
    • ‘Fuel costs are passed on through all kinds of consumable goods and services, hitting the pockets of even those who religiously shun fossil-fuel consumption and choose to travel by bicycle or foot.’
    • ‘Faith and I were talking yesterday about things we used to sneer at, and I must say that such consumable groomings as I've paid for in the last few days were among my list of things that were too bourgeois for words.’
    edible, safe to eat, fit to eat, fit to be eaten, fit for human consumption
    View synonyms


usually consumables
  • A commodity that is intended to be used up relatively quickly.

    ‘drugs and other medical consumables’
    • ‘With a lot of consumables, things stop there, but as graffiti culture showed, the potential levels of understanding, of brand initiation, are without limit.’
    • ‘So the Reynolds can carry less than one-fifth the consumables needed by the earlier spaceship.’
    • ‘Makers of all sorts of printers from ends very low to very high, Epson printers benefit from years of heritage and the relatively easy availability of consumables.’
    • ‘It can cost something over £2,000 per lap just for consumables.’
    • ‘This is important because training a PhD student in medical research costs about $100,000 / year in consumables etc.’
    • ‘I picked up enough consumables and necessaries to tide us over the next couple of days and resolved to revert to old-fashioned local shopping as soon as I can.’
    • ‘This included consumables, such as water bladders, chlorine, cleaning tools and hygiene education materials.’
    • ‘I had just got to the point where I was beginning to worry that fixing things was going to cost me money when a chance remark by the guy I buy my computer consumables from gave me an idea.’
    • ‘These filters are consumables - or regularly needed supplies.’
    • ‘Even allowing for the cost of infrastructure, maintenance and consumables, the fees the managements have sought do not seem to be justified.’
    • ‘Each one having brought consumables and other commodities from home with a wholesale tag, the children of each class are allotted a day to do trade.’
    • ‘The range is so extensive it includes everything from copy paper and computer consumables to wedding invitation paper and wedding accessories.’
    • ‘Beyond adapting humans to low gravity environments the biggest need is to be able to produce consumables for longer term living.’
    • ‘The passages I have quoted from the Response indicate that Wang's argument particularly in relation to consumables is simply not sustainable.’
    • ‘Instead of wasting money on exchanging consumables, which have a limited shelf life, the management went in for a collective gift of permanent value.’
    • ‘There is something to be said about making children earn their consumables, so they can appreciate the true cost, and the true value of money.’
    • ‘Kodak really had to make the change since they are primarily in the business of selling consumables (in much the same way Canon doesn't sell printers so much as ink and paper).’
    • ‘A duty-free entitlement would be given to them for import of capital goods, spares, office equipment and consumables.’
    • ‘The third Ergo division is Ergo IT products, which provides a wide range of computer consumables and network-related products.’
    • ‘But Krithika's parents prefer her purchasing branded consumables.’