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verb cov·et \ˈkə-vət\

Simple Definition of covet

  • : to want (something that you do not have) very much

Source: Merriam-Webster's Learner's Dictionary

Full Definition of covet

  1. transitive verb
  2. 1 :  to wish for earnestly <covet an award>

  3. 2 :  to desire (what belongs to another) inordinately or culpably

  4. intransitive verb
  5. :  to feel inordinate desire for what belongs to another

covetable play \-və-tə-bəl\ adjective
coveter play \-tər\ noun
covetingly play \-tiŋ-lē\ adverb

Examples of covet in a sentence

  1. The oldest of the students, she had become a confidante of Fern's and she alone was allowed to call her by her first name. It was not a privilege the others coveted. —Edward P. Jones, The Known World, 2003

  2. The only Commandment I'd breached, besides killing that bird with my air rifle, was that I had coveted Bobby Entrekin's electric train. It blew real smoke. Mine didn't. —Lewis Grizzard, Reader's Digest, January 1992

  3. He had discovered a great law of human action, without knowing it—namely, that in order to make a man or a boy covet a thing, it is only necessary to make the thing difficult to attain. —Mark Twain, Tom Sawyer, 1876

  4. His religion warns against coveting material goods.

  5. <I've been coveting that sleek sports car in the showroom for some time now.>

Origin of covet

Middle English coveiten, from Anglo-French coveiter, from Vulgar Latin *cupidietare, from Latin cupiditat-, cupiditas desire, from cupidus desirous, from cupere to desire

First Known Use: 14th century

Synonym Discussion of covet

desire, wish, want, crave, covet mean to have a longing for. desire stresses the strength of feeling and often implies strong intention or aim <desires to start a new life>. wish sometimes implies a general or transient longing especially for the unattainable <wishes for permanent world peace>. want specifically suggests a felt need or lack <wants to have a family>. crave stresses the force of physical appetite or emotional need <craves sweets>. covet implies strong envious desire <covets his rise to fame>.

Rhymes with covet

COVET Defined for Kids


verb cov·et \ˈkəv-ət\

Definition of covet for Students


  1. :  to wish for greatly or with envy <I admit I covet success.> <It's wrong to covet a friend's happiness.>

Seen and Heard

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expressing little or no emotion

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