A consumer is someone who buys or consumes, or uses up, something. An economy could not keep functioning without consumers.

Long before smorgasbords, shopping malls, or eBay, people craved pretty and tasty things. So those who spoke Latin invented the word consumere, which meant to use up, eat, or waste. Being a consumer doesn't necessarily mean you are squandering. We're all consumers when we go through the checkout line at the grocery store, for instance.

Definitions of consumer
  1. noun
    a person who uses goods or services
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    someone who chews (especially someone who chews tobacco)
    concert-goer, music lover
    someone who attends concerts
    client, customer
    someone who pays for goods or services
    drinker, imbiber, juicer, toper
    a person who drinks alcoholic beverages (especially to excess)
    a person who drinks liquids
    eater, feeder
    someone who consumes food for nourishment
    prodigal, profligate, squanderer
    a recklessly extravagant person
    smoker, tobacco user
    a person who smokes tobacco
    snuff user, snuffer
    a person who uses snuff
    bar fly
    a drinker who frequents bars
    ale drinker, beer drinker
    someone whose favorite drink is beer or ale
    buyer, emptor, purchaser, vendee
    a person who buys
    a heavy smoker (usually of cigarettes) who lights one off of another
    cigarette smoker
    a smoker of cigarettes
    cigar smoker
    a smoker of cigars
    someone who eats greedily or voraciously
    a person eating a meal (especially in a restaurant)
    someone who is intoxicated
    drunk, drunkard, inebriate, rummy, sot, wino
    a chronic drinker
    an eater who dips food into a liquid before eating it
    glutton, gourmand, gourmandizer, trencherman
    a person who is devoted to eating and drinking to excess
    a hasty eater who swallows large mouthfuls
    a customer of a hotel or restaurant etc.
    gulper, guzzler
    a drinker who swallows large amounts greedily
    someone who drinks heavily (especially alcoholic beverages)
    someone who is eating lunch
    a moderate drinker (as opposed to a total abstainer)
    a person conceived as a consumer of food
    a chewer who makes a munching noise
    mycophage, mycophagist
    a person or animal who eats fungi (especially mushrooms)
    nosher, snacker
    someone who eats lightly or eats snacks between meals
    a person who eats all kinds of foods
    frequenter, patron
    a regular customer
    picknicker, picnicker
    a person who is picnicking
    pipe smoker
    a smoker who uses a pipe
    a person who holds an insurance policy; usually, the client in whose name an insurance policy is written
    a person who drinks heartily
    bacchanal, bacchant, drunken reveler, drunken reveller
    someone who engages in drinking bouts
    gorger, scoffer
    someone who eats food rapidly and greedily
    someone who visits stores in search of articles to buy
    a drinker who sips
    disburser, expender, spender
    someone who spends money to purchase goods or services
    scattergood, spend-all, spender, spendthrift
    someone who spends money prodigally
    reader, subscriber
    someone who contracts to receive and pay for a service or a certain number of issues of a publication
    a drinker who sucks (as at a nipple or through a straw)
    one who accepts an offer
    social drinker, tippler
    someone who drinks liquor repeatedly in small quantities
    eater of fruits and grains and nuts; someone who eats no meat or fish or (often) any animal products
    a customer to whom a warrant or guarantee is given
    carouser, wassailer
    someone who enjoys riotous drinking
    waster, wastrel
    someone who dissipates resources self-indulgently
    type of:
    a person who makes use of a thing; someone who uses or employs something
  2. noun
    an organism that depends on complex organic substances for nutrition
    synonyms: heterotroph
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    an organism that breaks down dead animal and plant matter, thereby returning nutrients to an ecosystem
    type of:
    being, organism
    a living thing that has (or can develop) the ability to act or function independently
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