ac·​quis·​i·​tive | \ ə-ˈkwi-zə-tiv How to pronounce acquisitive (audio) \

Definition of acquisitive

: strongly desirous of acquiring and possessing

Other Words from acquisitive

acquisitively adverb
acquisitiveness noun

Choose the Right Synonym for 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 businesswoman who cheated her associates avaricious implies obsessive acquisitiveness especially of money and strongly suggests stinginess. an avaricious miser

Did you know?

While acquisitive is a useful synonym of the likes of greedy and avaricious, it's relatively unknown compared to its more popular lexical relations, acquire and acquisition. The former of that pair is most often used to mean "to get as one's own," as in "skills acquired through practice"; the latter refers either to the act of acquiring something, as in "the acquisition of skills," or to something or someone acquired or gained, as in "the museum's recent acquisitions." All three have as their ultimate source the Latin word acquīrere, meaning "to acquire." While acquire and acquisition have both been in use since the 15th century, acquisitive is a bit younger. The word has a somewhat rare use meaning "capable of acquiring" that dates to the late 16th century, but its "greedy" meaning dates only to the early 19th century.

Examples of acquisitive in a Sentence

acquisitive developers are trying to tear down the historic home and build a shopping mall
Recent Examples on the Web Alex Doll, founder and managing general partner at Ten Eleven, said that a reduction in the number of IPOs is likely to force more rational valuations, which could then encourage more acquisitive behavior by cyber firms. James Rundle, WSJ, 22 June 2022 In rapidly growing states like Florida and Texas where demographic flows have propelled home and auto lending volumes, credit unions are often more acquisitive than banks. John Dobosz, Forbes, 21 June 2022 And some vinyl heads treat music mainly as an acquisitive hobby, like sneaker collecting. Spencer Kornhaber, The Atlantic, 9 June 2022 Jamie Salter, the acquisitive founder of Authentic Brands Group Inc., is considering joining a bid for Chelsea Football Club, people with knowledge of the matter said. David Hellier,, 29 Mar. 2022 Rather, Wilkins cites a contradictory—and, therefore, believable—stew of erotic, maternal, and acquisitive desires. Sam Adler-bell, The New Republic, 7 Mar. 2022 In a sense, the streaming service's acquisitive instincts have a lot in common with the Norseman depicted here, even if the modern content pillagers show up in designer shoes rather than muddy boots and boats. Brian Lowry, CNN, 24 Feb. 2022 Singapore’s largest bank by market value, DBS has been acquisitive since the Covid-19 pandemic began, taking over a struggling lender in India and buying a stake in a mainland Chinese bank. Yongchang Chin, WSJ, 28 Jan. 2022 FOOD & WINE North Fork properties with wineries, grape-growing operations, or enough open land to build them, are becoming the hot new status symbol for acquisitive millionaires. Beth Landman, WSJ, 3 Jan. 2022 See More

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.

First Known Use of acquisitive

1835, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for 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

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The first known use of acquisitive was in 1835

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Last Updated

26 Jun 2022

Cite this Entry

“Acquisitive.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 1 Jul. 2022.

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More from Merriam-Webster on acquisitive

Nglish: Translation of acquisitive for Spanish Speakers


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