Definition of consume in US English:



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

    ‘people consume a good deal of sugar in drinks’
    • ‘For one month he would only consume food and drink available from McDonald's and he had to finish every meal.’
    • ‘Because they are mostly Muslim, Egyptians do not consume pork or drink alcoholic beverages.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘Anyway, the initial set back apart, the evening was most convivial, beers were consumed, food was ingested and chit was chatted.’
    • ‘If sugary food or drinks are consumed too often, the saliva doesn't get long enough to fully remineralise the teeth.’
    • ‘At school Sarah consumed mainly processed food and fizzy drinks, but consumed vegetables with her evening meal most days.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘During the Islamic month of fasting, Ramadan, no food or drink is consumed from sunrise to sunset.’
    • ‘Conversely, consuming hot food and drinks may raise the core body temperature.’
    • ‘‘Obviously a lot of extra food and drink is consumed at Christmas time,’ he said.’
    • ‘Herakles alone is positioned to consume food and drink.’
    • ‘Coffee is widely consumed; alcoholic drinks are forbidden to Muslims.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘It's caused by consuming food and drink with high acidity levels.’
    • ‘Diabetics can take heart that they can consume the fruit or drink its juice without increasing the sugar level.’
    • ‘Food poisoning is caused by consuming food or drink that is contaminated with bacteria, parasites or viruses.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘And after consuming their beer and food, they'd have had even less to carry out anyway, so there's just no excuse.’
    • ‘The teeth of children who consume acidic foods or drinks, become sensitive to hot and cold food and drink.’
    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).
      • ‘Society cannot survive on the intangible ‘feelgoods’ of ideas and creativity - it needs to consume goods and services produced.’
      • ‘The population in this scheme was to be good for consuming foreign goods produced abroad with Russia's own cheaply sold raw materials.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘A customer consumes the service as it is produced.’
      • ‘Luxury goods are not consumed by the poor or rank-and-file office workers, they can only be purchased by the wealthy.’
      • ‘Much of the costs involved are being added in the markets when the goods are consumed which is an added worry.’
      • ‘It still deals with group formation and with the provision of jointly consumed goods and services.’
      • ‘Millions of fisherman and those who consume their goods might justifiably ask ‘why?’.’
      • ‘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?’
      • ‘Worse, they might avoid theft by prematurely consuming goods that they would otherwise save, thereby depleting the social store of wealth over time.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘Satisfaction has been regarded as an overall evaluation of the experience of owning and/or consuming a product or service.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘Hence, it is not strange that they are willing to consume services that are too expensive for poorer people.’
      • ‘I'm grateful to Jackie for reminding me of the United States law which prohibits US citizens from consuming Cuban goods anywhere.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘I am consuming goods, thereby adding to the economics of the country.’
    2. 1.2 Use up (a resource)
      ‘these machines consume 5 percent of the natural gas in the U.S’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘It is also a bureaucratic mess, consuming untold resources which might otherwise have been devoted to fixing a real problem.’
      • ‘It also affects the environment, and transport consumes huge resources.’
      • ‘The study also revealed that humans are consuming natural resources 20 per cent faster than the earth can replenish them.’
      • ‘China and India are growing at enormous speeds and consuming huge amounts of every commodity.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘Inevitably, where resources are consumed, waste is produced.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘If I were a magician I would use my skills to produce for you an endless supply of commodity without consuming any resources.’
      • ‘A firestorm would result: the heat in the central area rises so high that the fire consumes all available oxygen.’
      • ‘But this puts you back in the exact same trap: the second machine is consuming resources too.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘American pacification efforts took on many forms and consumed enormous resources during the Vietnam War.’
      • ‘Haven't we chopped down forests, used oil, and otherwise consumed nonrenewable resources?’
      • ‘After they've consumed every natural resource, they move on.’
      • ‘Each human, particularly each American human, consumes enormous resources.’
      • ‘These are huge projects that will consume enormous amounts of copper and steel over the next decade, even if global GDP growth slows.’
      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’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘In September 1879 Deadwood, like the phoenix, was consumed by fire.’
      • ‘An old tree is consumed with fire after a lightning strike and all around it the country has burnt to ash.’
      • ‘In forty days, Lynchburg will be 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.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘Six years later, a similar conflagration consumed the Opéra-Comique, destroying the score as Offenbach had left it.’
      • ‘The money often shared the fate of people and property - consumed by fire, drowned and otherwise destroyed.’
      • ‘During the 1941 Leningrad siege the Soyuzkino / Lenfilm complex was consumed by fire.’
      • ‘A house on the corner of Savoy Terrace and Long Lane was being consumed by fire.’
      • ‘The ensuing blaze rapidly consumed the hemp, caused bad damage to the barn and burnt out a nearby tractor before firefighters could tame it.’
      • ‘Now Scotland on Sunday can reveal that the hut that helped fan the flames of devolution has itself been 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 plane skidded about 200 yards, where it was then consumed by fire.’
      • ‘Some plutonium was about to be consumed by fire.’
      • ‘The fire had consumed a historical lodge as well.’
      • ‘The house was tragically consumed by fire in 1974 leaving only the walls standing.’
      • ‘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.’
      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’
      • ‘Depression consumed him and, at his lowest ebb, he admits to contemplating suicide.’
      • ‘The more alcohol he consumed, the more anger and jealousy consumed him.’
      • ‘I'd arrive at my teacher's house and fear would instantly consume me.’
      • ‘Such feelings often consumed the person to evil.’
      • ‘We stand where we were - fear, complacency and self pity consuming us.’
      • ‘Stop letting your hate consume you and go do something with your lives.’
      • ‘I want a job so much I feel the desire consuming me, sapping my energy.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘It is time to stand up and be counted as model citizens before the terror consumes us all.'’
      • ‘He was consumed by a feeling of complete hopelessness.’
      • ‘So many negative emotions have consumed her over the years.’
      • ‘The anticipation consumed us as we waited for the official results.’
      • ‘Sometimes, however, overwhelming feelings of anger can consume us.’
      • ‘Tal could feel control slipping, which was odd because he had not relinquished it and the familiar feeling of transformation consumed him.’
      • ‘Fury consumed me and rage flowed through my veins like hot lava.’
      • ‘Scott felt the same feeling of guilt consume him again.’
      • ‘Her thoughtless words had already angered her faceless master greatly, and an ominous feeling of dread consumed her the longer she thought of it.’
      • ‘As I walked up the hill to the theatre my anticipation was almost consuming me.’
      • ‘Within her mind, her thoughts toss as fear consumes her with the mention of it.’
      • ‘However, strange feelings often consumed me that made me wonder if she ever viewed me as something else.’
      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.