Definition of consume in US English:



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

    ‘people consume a good deal of sugar in drinks’
    • ‘Herakles alone is positioned to consume food and drink.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘Diabetics can take heart that they can consume the fruit or drink its juice without increasing the sugar level.’
    • ‘The teeth of children who consume acidic foods or drinks, become sensitive to hot and cold food and drink.’
    • ‘Conversely, consuming hot food and drinks may raise the core body temperature.’
    • ‘Because they are mostly Muslim, Egyptians do not consume pork or drink alcoholic beverages.’
    • ‘And after consuming their beer and food, they'd have had even less to carry out anyway, so there's just no excuse.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘‘Obviously a lot of extra food and drink is consumed at Christmas time,’ he said.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘Coffee is widely consumed; alcoholic drinks are forbidden to Muslims.’
    • ‘For one month he would only consume food and drink available from McDonald's and he had to finish every meal.’
    • ‘It's caused by consuming food and drink with high acidity levels.’
    • ‘Anyway, the initial set back apart, the evening was most convivial, beers were consumed, food was ingested and chit was chatted.’
    • ‘Designate a day to drink only water and consume no food.’
    • ‘To have a party means party guests spending a significant amount of time at one place, socialising while consuming food and drink.’
    • ‘If sugary food or drinks are consumed too often, the saliva doesn't get long enough to fully remineralise the teeth.’
    • ‘During the Islamic month of fasting, Ramadan, no food or drink is consumed from sunrise to sunset.’
    • ‘At school Sarah consumed mainly processed food and fizzy drinks, but consumed vegetables with her evening meal most days.’
    • ‘Food poisoning is caused by consuming food or drink that is contaminated with bacteria, parasites or viruses.’
    eat, eat up, devour, ingest, swallow, gobble, gobble up, wolf down, gorge oneself on, feast on
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    1. 1.1 Buy (goods or services).
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘It still deals with group formation and with the provision of jointly consumed goods and services.’
      • ‘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?’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘I am consuming goods, thereby adding to the economics of the country.’
      • ‘Satisfaction has been regarded as an overall evaluation of the experience of owning and/or consuming a product or service.’
      • ‘Worse, they might avoid theft by prematurely consuming goods that they would otherwise save, thereby depleting the social store of wealth over time.’
      • ‘I'm grateful to Jackie for reminding me of the United States law which prohibits US citizens from consuming Cuban goods anywhere.’
      • ‘Society cannot survive on the intangible ‘feelgoods’ of ideas and creativity - it needs to consume goods and services produced.’
      • ‘Hence, it is not strange that they are willing to consume services that are too expensive for poorer people.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘Much of the costs involved are being added in the markets when the goods are consumed which is an added worry.’
      • ‘A customer consumes the service as it is produced.’
      • ‘Millions of fisherman and those who consume their goods might justifiably ask ‘why?’.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘Luxury goods are not consumed by the poor or rank-and-file office workers, they can only be purchased by the wealthy.’
      • ‘But they could do much more, too - like reporting back to base on the rate at which the goods are consumed.’
      • ‘Even in a global era, we live locally and consume goods and services at a local level.’
      • ‘The population in this scheme was to be good for consuming foreign goods produced abroad with Russia's own cheaply sold raw materials.’
    2. 1.2 Use up (a resource)
      ‘these machines consume 5 percent of the natural gas in the U.S’
      • ‘American pacification efforts took on many forms and consumed enormous resources during the Vietnam War.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘Each human, particularly each American human, consumes enormous resources.’
      • ‘China and India are growing at enormous speeds and consuming huge amounts of every commodity.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘It also affects the environment, and transport consumes huge resources.’
      • ‘It is also a bureaucratic mess, consuming untold resources which might otherwise have been devoted to fixing a real problem.’
      • ‘These are huge projects that will consume enormous amounts of copper and steel over the next decade, even if global GDP growth slows.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘Inevitably, where resources are consumed, waste is produced.’
      • ‘A firestorm would result: the heat in the central area rises so high that the fire consumes all available oxygen.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘Haven't we chopped down forests, used oil, and otherwise consumed nonrenewable resources?’
      use, use up, utilize, expend
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    3. 1.3 (especially of a fire) completely destroy.
      ‘the fire spread rapidly, consuming many homes’
      • ‘A house on the corner of Savoy Terrace and Long Lane was being consumed by fire.’
      • ‘Six years later, a similar conflagration consumed the Opéra-Comique, destroying the score as Offenbach had left it.’
      • ‘In forty days, Lynchburg will be consumed by fire.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘In September 1879 Deadwood, like the phoenix, was consumed by fire.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘The house was tragically consumed by fire in 1974 leaving only the walls standing.’
      • ‘During the 1941 Leningrad siege the Soyuzkino / Lenfilm complex was consumed by fire.’
      • ‘The fire had consumed a historical lodge as well.’
      • ‘The ensuing blaze rapidly consumed the hemp, caused bad damage to the barn and burnt out a nearby tractor before firefighters could tame it.’
      • ‘The plane skidded about 200 yards, where it was then consumed by fire.’
      • ‘Now Scotland on Sunday can reveal that the hut that helped fan the flames of devolution has itself been 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.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘Some plutonium was about to be consumed by fire.’
      • ‘New Orleans city officials say the threat of their flooded, ruined city being consumed by fires is worsening by the hour.’
      • ‘The money often shared the fate of people and property - consumed by fire, drowned and otherwise destroyed.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘An old tree is consumed with fire after a lightning strike and all around it the country has burnt to ash.’
      destroy, demolish, lay waste, wipe out, annihilate, devastate
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    4. 1.4usually be consumed (of a feeling) absorb all of the attention and energy of (someone)
      ‘Carolyn was consumed with guilt’
      • ‘Stop letting your hate consume you and go do something with your lives.’
      • ‘Within her mind, her thoughts toss as fear consumes her with the mention of it.’
      • ‘The more alcohol he consumed, the more anger and jealousy consumed him.’
      • ‘So many negative emotions have consumed her over the years.’
      • ‘However, strange feelings often consumed me that made me wonder if she ever viewed me as something else.’
      • ‘As I walked up the hill to the theatre my anticipation was almost consuming me.’
      • ‘It is time to stand up and be counted as model citizens before the terror consumes us all.'’
      • ‘The anticipation consumed us as we waited for the official results.’
      • ‘I'd arrive at my teacher's house and fear would instantly consume me.’
      • ‘Fury consumed me and rage flowed through my veins like hot lava.’
      • ‘I want a job so much I feel the desire consuming me, sapping my energy.’
      • ‘He was consumed by a feeling of complete hopelessness.’
      • ‘We stand where we were - fear, complacency and self pity consuming us.’
      • ‘Scott felt the same feeling of guilt consume him again.’
      • ‘Depression consumed him and, at his lowest ebb, he admits to contemplating suicide.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘Tal could feel control slipping, which was odd because he had not relinquished it and the familiar feeling of transformation consumed him.’
      • ‘Sometimes, however, overwhelming feelings of anger can consume us.’
      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.