Definitions

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

  • n. Immoderate desire for wealth; cupidity.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. Excessive or inordinate desire of gain; greediness after wealth; covetousness; cupidity.
  • n. Inordinate desire for some supposed good.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • n. An excessive or inordinate desire of gain; greediness for wealth; covetousness; cupidity.
  • n. An inordinate desire for some supposed good.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • n. An inordinate desire of gaining and possessing wealth; covetousness; cupidity; greediness, or insatiable desire of gain.
  • n. Synonyms Avarice, Covetousness, Cupidity, penuriousness, closeness, miserliness, all denote bad qualities, corruptions of the natural instinct of possession. Avarice, literally greediness, a strong desire to get objects of value, has become limited, except in figurative uses, so as to express only a sordid and mastering desire to get wealth. Covetousness and cupidity are not limited to wealth, but may have for their object anything that can be desired, cupidity being directed especially toward material things. Covetousness longs to possess that which belongs to another; hence the prohibition in the tenth commandment (Ex. xx. 17). Cupidity is more active than the others, less groveling, and more ready to snatch from others that which covetousness may wish for without trying to get. See penurious.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • n. reprehensible acquisitiveness; insatiable desire for wealth (personified as one of the deadly sins)
  • n. extreme greed for material wealth

Etymologies

Middle English, from Old French, from Latin avāritia, from avārus, greedy, from avēre, to desire.
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
From Old French, from Latin avāritia, from avārus ("greedy"). (Wiktionary)

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