AskDefine | Define consumer

Dictionary Definition

consumer n : a person who uses goods or services

User Contributed Dictionary




  1. someone who trades money for goods as an individual.
  2. an organism that uses other organisms for food in order to gain energy.



person purchasing goods



  1. consume (to destroy completely)

Extensive Definition

This article is about consumers in economics. For the article about consumers in biology, see Heterotroph.
Consumers refers to individuals or households that use goods and services generated within the economy. The concept of a consumer is used in different contexts, so that the usage and significance of the term may vary.

Consumer in economics and marketing

A consumer is a person who uses any product or service. Typically when business people and economists talk of consumers they are talking about person as consumer, an aggregated commodity item with little individuality other than that expressed in the buy/not-buy decision. However there is a trend in marketing to individualize the concept. Instead of generating broad demographic profile and psychographic profiles of market segments, marketers are engaging in personalized marketing, permission marketing, and mass customization.
In free market or capitalist economies, consumers are presumed to dictate what goods are produced and are generally considered the center of economic activity. Individual consumption of goods and services is primarily linked to the consumer's level of disposable income, and budget allocations are made to maximize the consumer's marginal utility. In 'time series' models of consumer behavior, the consumer may also invest a proportion of their budget in order to gain a greater budget in future periods. This investment choice may include either fixed rate interest or risk-bearing securities.

Consumer in law and politics

Within law, the notion of consumer is primarily used in relation to consumer protection laws, and the definition of consumer is often restricted to living persons (i.e. not corporations or businesses) and excludes commercial users. A typical legal rationale for protecting the consumer is based on the notion of policing market failures and inefficiencies, such as inequalities of bargaining power between a consumer and a business. As potential voters are also consumers, consumer protection takes on a clear political significance.
Concern over the interests of consumers has also spawned much activism, as well as incorporation of consumer education into school curricula. There are also various non-profit publications, such as Consumer Reports and Choice Magazine, dedicated to assist in consumer education and decision making.


consumer in Afrikaans: Verbruiker
consumer in Bengali: ভোক্তা
consumer in Catalan: Consumidor
consumer in German: Verbraucher
consumer in Spanish: Consumidor
consumer in French: Consommateur
consumer in Korean: 소비자
consumer in Indonesian: Konsumen
consumer in Italian: Consumatore
consumer in Lithuanian: Vartotojas
consumer in Dutch: Consument
consumer in Japanese: 消費者
consumer in Norwegian: Forbruker
consumer in Polish: Konsument (ekonomia)
consumer in Portuguese: Consumidor
consumer in Russian: Потребитель
consumer in Slovak: Spotrebiteľ
consumer in Chinese: 消费者 (经济)

Synonyms, Antonyms and Related Words

Brillat-Savarin, Lucullus, board-and-roomer, boarder, bon vivant, browser, buyer, cannibal, carnivore, connoisseur of food, customer agent, diner, diner-out, eater, eater-out, employer, emptor, enjoyer, epicure, feeder, flesh-eater, fruitarian, gastronome, glutton, gourmand, gourmet, grain-eater, graminivore, granivore, herbivore, high liver, hungry mouth, lactovegetarian, luncher, man-eater, marketer, meat-eater, mouth, omnivore, omophagist, pantophagist, phytophage, picnicker, plant-eater, predacean, purchaser, purchasing agent, shopper, trencherman, user, vegetarian, vendee, window-shopper
Privacy Policy, About Us, Terms and Conditions, Contact Us
Permission is granted to copy, distribute and/or modify this document under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License, Version 1.2
Material from Wikipedia, Wiktionary, Dict
Valid HTML 4.01 Strict, Valid CSS Level 2.1