from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 5th Edition.

  • noun One that consumes, especially one that acquires goods or services for direct use or ownership rather than for resale or use in production and manufacturing.
  • noun Ecology A heterotrophic organism that ingests other organisms or organic matter in a food chain.

from The Century Dictionary.

  • noun One who consumes, destroys, wastes, or spends; that which consumes.
  • noun Specifically, in polit, econ., one who destroys the exchangeable value of a commodity by using it: the opposite of producer.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English.

  • noun One who, or that which, consumes.
  • noun (Econ.) the person or organization that uses some item of commerce or service in its own acitities, as opposed to reselling the item or including it as part of another item for resale; -- called also the end user.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License.

  • noun One who, or that which, consumes.
  • noun economics someone who trades money for goods as an individual.
  • noun biology an organism that uses other organisms for food in order to gain energy.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • noun a person who uses goods or services


Sorry, no etymologies found.


Help support Wordnik (and make this page ad-free) by adopting the word consumer.



Log in or sign up to get involved in the conversation. It's quick and easy.

  • How the hell did "consumer" become an advocacy term for people using mental health services?? Does that mean I was a producer? How is that empowering for anyone? Quick! Buy more! -- Save the economy, buy a Hummer (or whatever it is I want to attribute to Bush.)

    June 29, 2008