late 14c., "to destroy by separating into parts which cannot be reunited, as by burning or eating," hence "destroy the substance of, annihilate," from Old French consumer "to consume" (12c.) and directly from Latin consumere "to use up, eat, waste," from assimilated form of com-, here perhaps an intensive prefix (see com-), + sumere "to take," from sub- "under" (see sub-) + emere "to buy, take" (from PIE root *em- "to take, distribute").
Specifically, "to destroy by use, wear out by applying to its natural or intended use" from c. 1400. Sense of "to engage the full attention and energy of" is from 1570s.
early 15c., "one who squanders or wastes," agent noun from consume. In economics, "one who uses up goods or articles, one who destroys the exchangeable value of a commodity by using it" (opposite of producer), from 1745.
Consumer goods is attested from 1890. In U.S., consumer price index calculated since 1919, tracking "changes in the prices paid by urban consumers for a representative basket of goods and services" [Bureau of Labor Statistics]; abbreviation CPI is attested by 1971.
Proto-Indo-European root meaning "to take, distribute."
It forms all or part of: assume; consume; emption; example; exemplar; exemplary; exemplify; exempt; exemption; impromptu; peremptory; pre-emption; premium; presume; presumption; prompt; pronto; ransom; redeem; redemption; resume; sample; sejm; subsume; sumptuary; sumptuous; vintage.
It is the hypothetical source of/evidence for its existence is provided by: Sanskrit yamati "holds, subdues;" Latin emere "buy," originally "take," sumere "to take, obtain, buy;" Old Church Slavonic imo "to take;" Lithuanian imu, imti "to take."
For the sense shift from "take" to "buy" in the Latin verbs, compare Old English sellan "to give," source of Modern English sell "to give in exchange for money;" Hebrew laqah "he bought," originally "he took;" and colloquial English I'll take it for "I'll buy it."
1815, "strong, clear soup containing juices of meat extracted by long cooking," from French consommé, noun use of past participle of consommer "to consume" (12c.), from Latin consummare "to complete, finish, perfect," from assimilated form of com "together, with" (see com-) + summa "sum, total," from summus "highest" (see sum (n.)). The French verb was influenced in sense by consummer, from Latin consumere "to consume."
early 14c., devouren, of beasts or persons, "to eat up entirely, eat ravenously, consume as food," from Old French devorer (12c.) "devour, swallow up, engulf," from Latin devorare "swallow down, accept eagerly," from de "down" (see de-) + vorare "to swallow" (from PIE root *gwora- "food, devouring"). Of persons or inanimate agents (fire, pestilence, etc.) "consume destructively or wastefully," late 14c. To "swallow up" figuratively (a book, etc.) from 1580s; to "take in ravenously" with the eyes, 1620s. Related: Devoured; devouring.
1650s, "to catch fire," from Latin conflagratus, past participle of conflagrare "to burn, consume," from assimilated form of com-, here perhaps an intensive prefix (see con-), + flagrare "to burn, blaze, glow" (from PIE root *bhel- (1) "to shine, flash, burn"). Transitive meaning "to set on fire" is from 1835.