I'm working on a site and I need a word that covers when "a user has ____ a movie, song, or book."

Another example would be "these are all the songs, movies, shows, etc. you have ____."

The types include songs, shows, movies, books and games.

For shows and movies there's watched; books, read; games, played.

  • 1
    "Killing time".
    – Hot Licks
    Commented Jan 29, 2017 at 3:48
  • 2
    "enjoy the show" is a common expression. So try "enjoy" or its variants
    – NVZ
    Commented Jan 29, 2017 at 4:54
  • 4
    @NVZ even though they have watched, listened to, etc. a show or song they may not have enjoyed them. Commented Jan 29, 2017 at 5:13
  • After reading the answers thus far, ingest comes to mind as better than consume.
    – JDługosz
    Commented Jan 29, 2017 at 8:58
  • @AlexisTyler: That's not necessarily relevant to the use of the term, depending where you are. Commented Jan 29, 2017 at 15:55

8 Answers 8


Quite an unusual question there! Consider an unusual answer then:


To consume a cake is to eat it, the idea being that you ate the whole thing. To say a fire consumed a building is to say that the entire building was destroyed. Consume means to devour, to take in, to use up. The United States is often referred to as a consumer society because our economy is based on things being consumed. Whether it's gas, clothes, burgers, music, or anything that we use up as we purchase it, it's something that we consume. If we consume all the oil, there will be none left to burn.

consume (verb) 2. use up (resources or materials)

I get 3 million Google search results each for "consume a book", "consume a song", and "consume a movie". Check out "consumption of entertainment" also.

From Tumblr:

Basically, “reconsumption” is when you voluntarily “consume” the same experience over and over again. This obviously relates to repeating the same media [book/movie/song/etc] but it also relates to activities like going to the same place at a beach.

From Google Books:

My basic theoretical assumption regarding audience is the rather simple but well-grounded contention that audiences consume particular forms of entertainment ...

  • 2
    I think this may work best as "here is the media you've consumed" fits best. It also works for "so far this year you've consumed x show, x movies, x games". Commented Jan 29, 2017 at 5:48
  • I debated submitting consume but decided against. It because one doesn’t really consume a game.
    – Jim
    Commented Jan 29, 2017 at 6:00
  • 1
    @Jim Agreed. But one could consume a game by playing it, although nobody says it like that. :)
    – NVZ
    Commented Jan 29, 2017 at 6:03
  • Technically correct but idiomatically awkward where I live. Commented Jan 29, 2017 at 15:55
  • @LightnessRacesinOrbit Agreed. Hence the note at the beginning, "an unusual answer". Maybe I should add something more?
    – NVZ
    Commented Jan 29, 2017 at 16:33

You can also use experience, as in "experience a book, movie, or song".


(verb) to do or see (something) or have (something) happen to you : to feel or be affected by (something)


I don't think I'd pick this for a website but, for what it's worth, in my neck of the woods, in conversation, I'd probably pick enjoyed to cover all these possibilities.

I regularly enjoy movies, songs and books.
These are all the songs, movies, shows, etc. I have enjoyed.

Note that, contrary to appearances, when using this idiom it is largely irrelevant as to whether or not you really did enjoy the experience.

Observe transitive verb meaning #1 below:


intransitive verb
- to have a good time

transitive verb
1. to have for one's use, benefit, or lot : (experience) <enjoyed great success>
2. to take pleasure or satisfaction in

(from Merriam-Webster)

This usage may be culture-dependent, though, so employ it with caution.

  • This is the answer which fits the tone best when used for informal contexts. "Consume" fits best when used in a more formal context.
    – Stephen
    Commented Jan 30, 2017 at 4:33
  • @Stephen Agreed Commented Jan 30, 2017 at 10:08
  • Curious as to why somebody downvoted a dictionary definition Commented Jan 30, 2017 at 10:08

A generic term for these activities(reading, listening...) in digital media -assuming you have the authority to use it- how about Exercise(defination 2:as verb).

a user has 'exercised' a movie, games,books...
all the songs, movies, shows that you have 'exercised'.

Sounds odd! Songs, movies can't be 'exercised', I guess, but I'm considering a neutral take on this. These are just activities that the user 'has made an active use of' if has the authority in your site (thus 'exercise': to make use of one's privleges, powers) and doesn't have to necessarily enjoy it.

THE FREE DICTIONARY provides the following definations:

:to make use of (one's privileges, powers, etc.)
:The active use or application of something: --the exercise of good judgment.
:To make active use of; employ, apply, or exert: --exercise restraint; exercise control.
:to put into use; employ: --to exercise tact.
:to practise using in order to develop or train: --to exercise one's voice.
:to perform or make proper use of: --to exercise one's rights.
:mental or other activity or practice, esp in order to develop a skill

No matter how odd it sounds, I have 'exercised' my right to post an answer ;-)


It is recreation.




[mass noun] Activity done for enjoyment when one is not working:

‘she rides for recreation’

[as modifier] ‘sport and recreation facilities’

[count noun] ‘his recreations included golf and rugby’

  • 2
    Is there a verb for this? Commented Jan 29, 2017 at 5:13
  • 1
    @AlexisTyler, perhaps experienced? Commented Jan 29, 2017 at 5:41
  • 2
    Question asks for a verb, not a noun. Commented Jan 29, 2017 at 15:55
  • 1
    @alwayslearning not my down vote. The OP gave two example sentences, implied that only verbs would've made sense. No edits have changed the sentences. Maybe you didn't notice that. :)
    – NVZ
    Commented Jan 29, 2017 at 16:41
  • 2
    @alwayslearning: Thanks for what downvote? It wasn't mine. "Assume good faith", please. Meanwhile, NVZ is correct... Commented Jan 30, 2017 at 0:16


In these delightful digital days we continuously consume content. But we read books, listen to songs, watch shows and play games. I wouldn't put consume with any specific form of digital media and I wouldn't use consume in any UI at all. Keep it human, use the verbs that make sense. And try a different approach if you really must introduce a list of mixed recently consumed content.


I don't think people understand what you mean because they keep bringing up recreation, enjoyment, etc. while enjoyment is only a (possible) EFFECT. Reading is often an assigned chore and not a pass time. Some games are tedious.

Make an argument for the three things (watching, reading, playing) having a common denominator. Otherwise you can't be sure people understand you; and, also, in the course of doing so you may have a Eureka Moment.

Most likely you are charting new territory, it seems to me - even though to me and many what you say makes perfect sense.

"Taking in" or "experiencing" seem to be common denominators.

Since not many people understand the concept, I don't see how they'd understand the use of a common word.

Make up one from Greek roots, maybe? That would take explaining, though.

How about a descrptive phrase or multi-word term?

A metaphor might do the trick.



While I personally think "enjoy" is the correct answer here, another possibility is "finished". It works better with book and movie than song, but it's not too out of place with any of the three.

"A user has finished a movie, song, or book."

"These are all the songs, movies, shows, etc. you have finished."

  • Well, what if I stopped playing the song at 99%. Have I finished it then? ;)
    – NVZ
    Commented Jan 30, 2017 at 4:38
  • Colloquially you have. Everyone on this site is too literalist.
    – Stephen
    Commented Jan 30, 2017 at 4:42
  • "Stephen finished a book." could mean either that you read it or you wrote it. Commented Jan 30, 2017 at 5:53
  • @Scott that's true, it is slightly ambiguous. "Enjoyed" is my preferred answer but "finished" does make sense in context.
    – Stephen
    Commented Jan 30, 2017 at 6:38

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