1. Extremely hungry or characterized by extreme hunger; voracious: missed lunch and was ravenous by dinnertime.
2. Predatory or ferocious in predation: ravenous lions.
3. Eager for gratification or extremely desirous: "I'm ravenous for news, any kind of news" (Margaret Atwood).
[Middle English, from Old French ravineux, from raviner, to take by force, from Vulgar Latin *rapīnāre, from Latin rapīna, plunder; see RAPINE.]
The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition copyright ©2022 by HarperCollins Publishers. All rights reserved.
Indo-European & Semitic Roots Appendices
Thousands of entries in the dictionary include etymologies that trace their origins back to reconstructed proto-languages. You can obtain more information about these forms in our online appendices:
The Indo-European appendix covers nearly half of the Indo-European roots that have left their mark on English words. A more complete treatment of Indo-European roots and the English words derived from them is available in our Dictionary of Indo-European Roots.