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

  • adj. Excessively and culpably desirous of the possessions of another. See Synonyms at jealous.
  • adj. Marked by extreme desire to acquire or possess: covetous of learning.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • adj. Inordinately desirous; excessively eager to obtain and possess (especially money); avaricious.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • adj. Very desirous; eager to obtain; -- used in a good sense.
  • adj. Inordinately desirous; excessively eager to obtain and possess (esp. money); avaricious; -- in a bad sense.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • Very desirous; eager for acquisition: in a good sense: as, covetous of wisdom, virtue, or learning.
  • Specifically, inordinately desirous; excessively eager to obtain and possess, especially in an unlawful or unjust way; carried away by avarice.

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

  • adj. showing extreme cupidity; painfully desirous of another's advantages
  • adj. immoderately desirous of acquiring e.g. wealth


From Middle English coveitous, from Anglo-Norman *cuveitus, from Medieval Latin as if *cupiditosus, from Latin cupiditas ("desire"); see covet. (Wiktionary)



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  • "Of what Benefit is it to say our Prayers regularly, go to Church, receive the Sacraments, and may be go to Confessions too; ay, Feast the Priest, and give Alms to the Poor, and yet Lye, Swear, Curse, be Drunk, Covetous, Unclean, Proud, Revengeful, Vain and Idle at the same Time?"
    - William Penn, 'Fruits of Solitude'.

    September 8, 2009