Of course, omnivorous creatures eat anything (just like carnivorous creatures eat meat and herbivorous creatures eat plants).
Figuratively, someone or something omnivorous takes in (or consumes) anything or everything.
om NIV uh russ
Part of speech:
(Adjectives are describing words, like "large" or "late."
They can be used in two ways:
1. Right before a noun, as in "omnivorous readers."
2. After a linking verb, as in "The readers were omnivorous.")
omnivorously, omnivorousness, omnivore(s)
How to use it:
Talk about an omnivorous appetite or someone's omnivorous taste, an omnivorous "diet" of any information or entertainment that people consume, omnivorous readers or learners, or omnivorous desires or feelings (like the omnivorous influence of pride, omnivorous greed, the omnivorous effects of mental illness, and so on).
If you have an omnivorous curiosity like I do, then you spend a lot of time on Wikipedia (or flipping through the dictionary) while you keep saying "Oooh! So I wonder..."
I was an omnivorous reader as a kid, but now I'm picky as all get-out.
Look away from the screen to explain the definition in your own words. You’ll know you understand what "omnivorous" means when you can explain it without saying "indiscriminate" or "eating everything."
Think of someone who seems to know everything about a certain topic, as if they've swallowed and digested that entire topic, and fill in the blanks: "I'm impressed by (Person's) omnivorous knowledge of _____."
Example: "I'm impressed by Tom's omnivorous knowledge of choral music. (He generously assumes we all have the same level of familiarity with composers and pieces.)"
Spend at least 20 seconds occupying your mind with the game and quote below. Then try the review questions. Don’t go straight to the review now—let your working memory empty out first.
Playing With Words:
We're playing with clichés this month, examining the origins of some colorful ones. I’ll give you a cliché (some of which you might also call a proverb and/or an idiom) and pose a multiple-choice question about its origin. (I used this nifty book as a reference!)
Yesterday's question: “Flotsam and jetsam” are miscellaneous thingamabobs. Did we take this cliché from the world of fencing, dating, or seafaring?
Answer: Seafaring. Flotsam is stuff floating in the water; jetsam is stuff you toss overboard.
Try this one today: When we can’t understand the whole situation because we’re so caught up in the details, “we can’t see the forest for the trees.” How long have we been saying that? Since the 1500s, the 1700s, or the 1900s?
A Point Well Made:
Abraham Lincoln: “Most folks are about as happy as they make up their minds to be.”
1. One opposite of OMNIVOROUS is
2. She's an omnivorous shopper, _____.
A. selecting coupons with care B. scooping up anything that's on sale
C. rejecting everything that's not precisely what she had in mind
Answers are below.
To be a sponsor and send your own message to readers of this list, please contact Liesl at Liesl@HiloTutor.com.
Make Your Point is crafted with love and brought to you each day for free by Mrs. Liesl Johnson, M.Ed., a word lover, learning enthusiast, and private tutor of reading and writing in the verdant little town of Hilo, Hawaii. For writing tips, online learning, essay guidance, and more, please visit www.HiloTutor.com.
Disclaimer: Word meanings presented here are expressed in plain language and are limited to common, useful applications only. Readers interested in authoritative and multiple definitions of words are encouraged to check a dictionary. Likewise, word meanings, usage, and pronunciations are limited to American English; these elements may vary across world Englishes.
Omnivorous readers or omnivorous learners are hungry for all kinds of information. Used figuratively like this, "omnivorous" has a pretty positive tone.
What if you need a negative-sounding word for people who are greedy for knowledge? You might pick rap______. And when you need a negative word for people who are just greedy for stuff and not information, you might pick acqui______.
Subscribe to "Make Your Point" for a daily vocabulary boost.