adjective ac·quis·i·tive \ ə-ˈkwi-zə-tiv \
Updated on: 7 Mar 2018

Definition of acquisitive

: strongly desirous of acquiring and possessing





Examples of acquisitive in a Sentence

  1. acquisitive developers are trying to tear down the historic home and build a shopping mall

Recent Examples of acquisitive from the Web

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'acquisitive.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

Did You Know?

Unlike most tribal peoples and the populations of some older countries, we Americans live in an acquisitive society, a society devoted to getting and spending. And America often makes successfully acquisitive people into heroes; even Ebenezer Scrooge, that model of miserly greed and acquisitiveness, was once defended by a White House chief of staff. An acquisitive nation may seek to acquire other territories by force. But mental acquisition of specialized knowledge or skills—or new vocabulary!—doesn't deprive others of the same information.

Origin and Etymology of acquisitive

borrowed from French & Late Latin; French acquisitif, going back to Middle French, borrowed from Late Latin acquīsītīvus "acquired, involving gain or possession," from Latin acquīsītus (past participle of acquīrere "to acquire") + -īvus -ive

Synonym Discussion of acquisitive

covetous, greedy, acquisitive, grasping, avaricious mean having or showing a strong desire for especially material possessions. covetous implies inordinate desire often for another's possessions.
    • covetous of his brother's country estate
greedy stresses lack of restraint and often of discrimination in desire.
    • greedy for status symbols
acquisitive implies both eagerness to possess and ability to acquire and keep.
    • an eagerly acquisitive mind
grasping adds to covetous and greedy an implication of selfishness and often suggests unfair or ruthless means.
    • a hard grasping trader who cheated the natives
avaricious implies obsessive acquisitiveness especially of money and strongly suggests stinginess.
    • an avaricious miser

ACQUISITIVE Defined for English Language Learners


Definition of acquisitive for English Language Learners

  • : having a strong desire to own or acquire more things

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one that breaks open safes to steal

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