Meaning of “consume” in the English Dictionary

"consume" in British English

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consumeverb [ T ]

uk /kənˈsjuːm/ us /kənˈsuːm/

consume verb [ T ] (USE RESOURCE)

C1 to use fuel, energy, or time, especially in large amounts:

Our high living standards cause our current population to consume 25 percent of the world's oil.

B2 formal to eat or drink, especially a lot of something:

He consumes huge amounts of bread with every meal.

More examples

consume verb [ T ] (DESTROY)

If a fire consumes something, it destroys it completely.

be consumed by/with sth

C2 to have so much of a feeling that it affects everything you do:

He was consumed with jealousy.
As a teenager, I was consumed by passion for the boy next door.
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(Definition of “consume” from the Cambridge Advanced Learner’s Dictionary & Thesaurus © Cambridge University Press)

"consume" in American English

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consumeverb [ T ]

us /kənˈsum/

to use fuel, energy, or time, esp. in large amounts:

Weekend shopping chores consumed much of her time.

To consume is also to eat or drink:

They consume a lot of candy.

If a fire consumes something, it destroys it completely:

Fire had consumed the whole building.

Someone can be said to be consumed by/with a feeling if that feeling is extremely strong:

We were consumed with joy and relief, as well as profound gratitude.

(Definition of “consume” from the Cambridge Academic Content Dictionary © Cambridge University Press)

"consume" in Business English

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consumeverb [ T ]

uk /kənˈsjuːm/ us /kənˈsuːm/

to use something such as fuel, energy, money, or time, especially in large quantities:

It's a province of China which consumes 180,000 tons of coal a year.
This device will monitor how much energy your household appliances are consuming at any time.
Meetings routinely consume at least 20 hours of his time a week.

to buy goods or services:

The shift toward an increasingly cashless society has changed the way we consume goods.

(Definition of “consume” from the Cambridge Business English Dictionary © Cambridge University Press)