Definitions

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

  • n. Ardent desire or craving; eagerness.
  • n. Keen interest or enthusiasm: followed the tournament with avidity.
  • n. Chemistry The dissociation-dependent strength of an acid or base.
  • n. Chemistry Degree of affinity.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. Greediness; strong appetite.
  • n. Eagerness; intenseness of desire
  • n. The measure of the synergism of the strength individual interactions between proteins.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • n. Greediness; strong appetite; eagerness; intenseness of desire.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • n. Greediness; strong appetite: applied to the senses.
  • n. Eagerness; intenseness of desire: applied to the mind.
  • n. Synonyms Earnestness, Zeal, etc. See eagerness.
  • n. In physical chemistry, a constant by means of which can be expressed the distribution of a base between two acids each sufficient to neutralize the whole of the base, or conversely; that is, the relative energy with which the acids tend to seize their shares of base: a term employed to avoid the use of the word affinity.

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

  • n. a positive feeling of wanting to push ahead with something

Etymologies

From Old French avidite (French avidité), from Latin aviditās ("avidity, covetousness"). (Wiktionary)

Examples

  • Christian -- in the adorable acceptation of that divine word -- nothing has less in common with the true, essential, and religiously social spirit of the gospel, than this insatiable ardor to acquire wealth by every possible means -- this dangerous avidity, which is far from being atoned for, in the eyes of public opinion, by a few paltry alms, bestowed in the narrow spirit of exclusion and intolerance.

    The Wandering Jew — Complete

  • Envy and hateful jealousy, rendered still more irritable by the leisure of a cloistered life, are the necessary consequences of such a comparison; and yet nothing is less Christian -- in the adorable acceptation of that divine word -- nothing has less in common with the true, essential, and religiously social spirit of the gospel, than this insatiable ardor to acquire wealth by every possible means -- this dangerous avidity, which is far from being atoned for, in the eyes of public opinion, by a few paltry alms, bestowed in the narrow spirit of exclusion and intolerance.

    The Wandering Jew — Volume 04

  • She herself was no exception to this reluctance: Rieff emphasizes that she hated talking about death and "loved living," had an "avidity" for life.

    Will to Live

  • She caught at it with a kind of avidity, tore it open, and heedless of their presence, devoured it, not only with her eyes: but with her parted lips and eager hands.

    Maurice Guest

  • The human mind seemed to seize with a kind of avidity on any distinction which took it out of itself, and at the same time freed it from the burden of ecclesiastical tyranny.

    Theological Essays of the Late Benjamin Jowett: Seleted, Arranged, and Edited by Lewis Campbell

  • All classes of society possess, undoubtedly, though in varying degrees, the important power of exemplifying good or evil, and it behooves them to act with greater circumspection and discretion with respect to the injurious consequences which their examples may evoke, having due regard to the avidity which is shown by weak minds to follow example, however pernicious.

    Gathering Jewels The Secret of a Beautiful Life: In Memoriam of Mr. & Mrs. James Knowles. Selected from Their Diaries.

  • But the cursory glance my father had taken of my volume by no means assured me that he was acquainted with its contents; and I continued to read with the greatest avidity.

    Chapter 2

  • Yet his avidity for extreme experience has nothing cold or cynical about it.

    Werner Herzog, the adventurous spirit

  • A respected medic by day, Jekyll becomes at night the slave of a drug that unleashes "a being inherently malign and villainous, his every act and thought centered on self, drinking pleasure with bestial avidity."

    Decadent Writing Of the 19th Century

  • Mr. McLynn is as unsparing of the senior commanders in Burma as they were of each other: The "mentally unstable" Wingate is posthumously diagnosed with bipolar disorder; Chennault suffered from "monomania," was "essentially false" and "joined in the Chinese elite's corruption and peculation with avidity"; Chiang is described as having given his second wife a nasty venereal disease on their wedding night.

    Still Forgotten

Comments

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  • You know, if I had to use this word, I would have said avidness, but this is a much better word.

    June 26, 2007

  • "She wanted to experience everything, taste everything, go everywhere, do everything. Indeed, if I had only one word with which to evoke her, it would be avidity."

    David Rieff on his mother, Susan Sontag

    June 25, 2007