from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

  • transitive v. To eat up greedily. See Synonyms at eat.
  • transitive v. To destroy, consume, or waste: Flames devoured the structure in minutes.
  • transitive v. To take in eagerly: devour a novel.
  • transitive v. To prey upon voraciously: was devoured by jealousy.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • v. To eat quickly, greedily, hungrily, or ravenously.
  • v. To rapidly destroy, engulf, or lay waste.
  • v. To take in avidly with the intellect.
  • v. To absorb or engross the mind fully, especially in a destructive manner.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • transitive v. To eat up with greediness; to consume ravenously; to feast upon like a wild beast or a glutton; to prey upon.
  • transitive v. To seize upon and destroy or appropriate greedily, selfishly, or wantonly; to consume; to swallow up; to use up; to waste; to annihilate.
  • transitive v. To enjoy with avidity; to appropriate or take in eagerly by the senses.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • To eat up entirely; eat ravenously; consume as food.
  • To consume destructively, recklessly, or wantonly; make away with; destroy; waste.
  • To swallow up, literally or figuratively; draw into conjunction or possession; absorb; engorge; take in: as, to devour a book; the usurers have devoured his estate.
  • To gaze at absorbingly; look upon with avidity; view with delight.
  • To give delight to; charm; enchant.
  • Synonyms Consume, etc. See eat.
  • To consume.
  • n. See dever.

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

  • v. eat greedily
  • v. destroy completely
  • v. enjoy avidly
  • v. eat immoderately


from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

Middle English devouren, from Old French devourer, from Latin dēvorāre : dē-, de- + vorāre, to swallow.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

Anglo-Norman devourer, Old French devorer (Modern French dévorer), from Latin dēvorō, from vorō.



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  • there is a dragon

    devouring rocks and men

    causing insanity

    destroying peaceful lives

    and calling itself love

    - Rumi, ghazal number 2157 in 'Fountain of Fire', translated by Nader Khalili.

    October 26, 2008