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

Definition of acquisitive

: strongly desirous of acquiring and possessing

Keep scrolling for more

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 trader who cheated the natives avaricious implies obsessive acquisitiveness especially of money and strongly suggests stinginess. an avaricious miser

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 Yet behind the scenes the Chinese government has been aiding HNA, a similarly acquisitive giant with growing financial troubles. Julie Steinberg, WSJ, "Chinese Conglomerate HNA Gets a Lifeline," 2 Mar. 2018 The acquisitive company views Asia as one of the quickest ways to reduce its debt, according to its prospectus, while also scoping out M&A opportunities in the region. Alex Nicoll, Fortune, "Why the King of Beers Just Had to Downsize its Big Asian IPO," 17 Sep. 2019 Most musicians are record collectors, and every record collector has an acquisitive gene that drives him or her to chase down the hallowed bootleg, the alternate take, the rare remix. John Kelly, Washington Post, "Shelf stable: D.C. musician John Davis keeps punk alive at a U-Md. library," 20 Aug. 2019 Aramco’s move toward disclosing more information coincides with the company’s becoming increasingly acquisitive, especially outside Saudi Arabia, in ways that could add to its need for more financing. Stanley Reed, New York Times, "Saudi Aramco Says It’s ‘Ready’ for I.P.O. as It Reports Half-Year Earnings," 12 Aug. 2019 Aramco’s move toward disclosing more information coincides with the company’s becoming increasingly acquisitive, especially outside Saudi Arabia, in ways that could add to its need for more financing. Stanley Reed,, "Saudi Aramco says it’s ‘ready’ for IPO as it reports half-year earnings," 12 Aug. 2019 Berkshire Bank has been one of New England’s most acquisitive banks in recent years., "Bank’s top diversity executive launches an expansive to-do list," 13 Aug. 2019 Logan and his children grapple not only with the issue inherent in the show's title, but also fending off acquisitive rivals. Brian Lowry, CNN, "'Succession' shows media dynasties are just families, only much worse," 11 Aug. 2019 And the hyper-acquisitive Broadcom was running low on options among chip makers. Dan Gallagher, WSJ, "Broadcom Has Been Punished Enough," 31 Aug. 2018

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.

See More

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

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about acquisitive

Time Traveler for acquisitive

Time Traveler

The first known use of acquisitive was in 1835

See more words from the same year

Listen to Our Podcast about acquisitive

Statistics for acquisitive

Last Updated

13 Nov 2019

Cite this Entry

“Acquisitive.” The Dictionary, Merriam-Webster Inc., Accessed 14 December 2019.

Keep scrolling for more

More Definitions for acquisitive


How to pronounce acquisitive (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of acquisitive

formal + disapproving : having a strong desire to own or acquire more things

Keep scrolling for more

More from Merriam-Webster on acquisitive

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for acquisitive

Spanish Central: Translation of acquisitive

Nglish: Translation of acquisitive for Spanish Speakers

Comments on acquisitive

What made you want to look up acquisitive? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


to assail by words or arguments

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Great Scrabble Words—A Quiz

  • scrabble tiles that read scrabble quiz
  • Which of the following Q-without-U words means the number five in cards or dice?
Spell It

Can you spell these 10 commonly misspelled words?

Add Diction

Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!