voracious

voracious, gluttonous, ravenous, ravening, rapacious can all mean excessively greedy and can all apply to persons, their appetites and reactions, or their behavior.
Voracious implies habitual gorging with food or drink, or with whatever satisfies an excessive appetite
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a voracious eater

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a voracious reader

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voracious birds, that hotly bill and breed, and largely drink— Dryden

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Gluttonous differs from voracious chiefly in its common suggestions of covetous delight (as in food) and of acquiring or eating past need or to the point of satiety
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he was gluttonous for jewels— Gunther

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though a Norman was not gluttonous, he was epicurean— Lytton

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his gluttonous appetite for food, praise, pleasure— Guérard

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Ravenous implies excessive hunger and suggests violent or grasping methods of dealing with food or with whatever satisfies an appetite
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he contracted a habit of eating with ravenous greediness. . . . The sight of food affected him as it affects wild beasts and birds of prey— Macaulay

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he had mad hungers that grew more ravenous as he fed them— Wilde

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Ravening is sometimes employed in place of ravenous
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the hordes of ravening ants— Beebe

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but more often it comes close to rapacious in suggesting a violent tendency to seize or appropriate to oneself in the manner of a bird of prey or a predatory animal
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beware of false prophets, which come to you in sheep's clothing, but inwardly they are ravening wolves— Mt 7:15

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Rapacious may imply the seizure of food
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rapacious animals we hate: kites, hawks, and wolves, deserve their fate— Gay

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but more often it suggests excessive and utterly selfish acquisitiveness or cupidity
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the Indians, who, though often rapacious, are devoid of avarice— Parkman

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the European nations, arrogant, domineering, and rapacious, have done little to recommend the name of Christianity in Asia and Africa— Inge

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Analogous words: greedy, grasping, acquisitive, *covetous: satiating, sating, surfeiting, gorging (see SATIATE)

New Dictionary of Synonyms. 2014.

Synonyms:

Look at other dictionaries:

  • Voracious — Vo*ra cious, a. [L. vorax, acis, fr. vorare to devour; akin to Gr. ? meat, food, ? to devour, Skr. gar. Cf. {Devour}.] Greedy in eating; very hungry; eager to devour or swallow; ravenous; gluttonous; edacious; rapacious; as, a voracious man or… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • voracious — ► ADJECTIVE 1) wanting or devouring great quantities of food. 2) eagerly consuming something: his voracious reading of literature. DERIVATIVES voraciously adverb voracity noun. ORIGIN from Latin vorax, from vorare devour …   English terms dictionary

  • voracious — [vô rā′shəs, vərā′shəs] adj. [L vorax (gen. voracis), greedy to devour < vorare, to devour < IE base * gwer , to devour, GORGE > Gr bora, food (of carnivorous beasts), L gurges, gorge] 1. greedy in eating; devouring or eager to devour… …   English World dictionary

  • voracious — index eager, gluttonous, predatory, rapacious Burton s Legal Thesaurus. William C. Burton. 2006 …   Law dictionary

  • voracious — 1630s, formed as an adjectival form of VORACITY (Cf. voracity) …   Etymology dictionary

  • voracious — [adj] very hungry, greedy avid, covetous, devouring, dog hungry*, edacious, empty, gluttonous, gorging, grasping, gross, insatiable, omnivorous, piggy*, prodigious, rapacious, ravening, ravenous, sating, starved, starved to death*, starving,… …   New thesaurus

  • voracious — adjective Etymology: Latin vorac , vorax, from vorare to devour; akin to Old English ācweorran to guzzle, Latin gurges whirlpool, Greek bibrōskein to devour Date: 1635 1. having a huge appetite ; ravenous 2. excessively eager ; insatiable < a… …   New Collegiate Dictionary

  • voracious — vo|ra|cious [vəˈreıʃəs, vɔ US vo: , və ] adj [Date: 1600 1700; : Latin; Origin: vorax, from vorare; DEVOUR] 1.) eating or wanting large quantities of food ▪ Pigs are voracious feeders. ▪ Kids can have voracious appetites . 2.) having an extremely …   Dictionary of contemporary English

  • voracious — vo|ra|cious [ və reıʃəs ] adjective FORMAL 1. ) a voracious person or animal eats a large amount of food 2. ) very eager to learn or to do something: a voracious appetite for something: She has always had a voracious appetite for reading. 3. )… …   Usage of the words and phrases in modern English

  • voracious — adjective 1 eating or wanting large quantities of food: Pigs are voracious feeders. | a voracious appetite: Kids can have voracious appetites. 2 extremely eager to read books, gain knowledge etc: a voracious reader voraciously adverb… …   Longman dictionary of contemporary English

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