Simple Definition of cupidity
: a strong desire for money or possessions
Examples of cupidity in a sentence
The evidence revealed the cupidity of the company's directors.
<reports of great treasure in the Indies inflamed the cupidity of Columbus's crew>
Did You Know?
From its verb "cupere" ("to desire") Latin derived three nouns which have passed with minimal modification into English. Cupiditas meant "yearning and "desire"; English borrowed this as "cupidity," which originally in the 15th century was synonymous with "lust." (The "greed" meaning of "cupidity" developed very soon after this other now-archaic meaning.) Latin cupido started out as a near synonym of "cupiditas," but it came to stand for the personification of specifically carnal desire, the counterpart of Greek eros; this is the source of our familiar (and rather domesticated) Cupid. A strengthened form of "cupere" - concupiscere, meaning "to desire ardently - yielded the noun "concupiscentia" in the Late Latin of the Christian church. "Concupiscentia" came specially to denote sexual desire, a meaning reflected in the English version concupiscence, meaning "sexual desire."
Origin and Etymology of cupidity
Middle English cupidite, from Anglo-French cupidité, from Latin cupiditat-, cupiditas — more at covet
First Known Use: 15th century
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