av·​a·​ri·​cious ˌa-və-ˈri-shəs How to pronounce avaricious (audio)
: greedy of gain : excessively acquisitive especially in seeking to hoard riches
avaricious land-grabbers
avariciously adverb
avariciousness noun
Choose the Right Synonym for avaricious

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

Examples of avaricious in a Sentence

an avaricious scheme to con the elderly couple out of thousands of dollars
Recent Examples on the Web Among their missions: persuading an avaricious finance god (Liev Schreiber) and a rising politician (Succession’s Zoe Winters) to care about climate change. Marlow Stern, Rolling Stone, 7 Aug. 2023 Fans of shows like Gossip Girl and Succession and novels like The Bonfire of the Vanities and The Guest will recognize the physical settings and the avaricious characters McDonell writes about. Norman Vanamee, Town & Country, 3 Aug. 2023 Behold how one progressive state is weaponizing federal environmental law to block a tax by an avaricious progressive neighbor. The Editorial Board, WSJ, 24 July 2023 The Gospel reading at the Third Baptist Church on this cool early-summer Sunday is from Luke, who relates the story of a meeting between Jesus and a particularly avaricious tax collector. Scott Wilson, Washington Post, 24 June 2023 But this Tim Rice-Andrew Lloyd Webber musical has often felt divided against itself: half grudging admiration, half undiluted scorn, highlighting Eva’s pop-star glamour, charisma, and common touch while also painting a portrait of her as an avaricious, power-hungry opportunist. Don Aucoin, BostonGlobe.com, 7 June 2023 Instead of being met with empathy by his peers, many of whom are an avaricious DA away from the same fate, he’s being left out in the cold. Andre Gee, Rolling Stone, 18 Jan. 2023 Today, that same behavior is likely to be seen with avaricious scorn. Ben Baldanza, Forbes, 6 Jan. 2023 Favre hasn’t been charged with any crimes yet, but the evidence of his avaricious behavior is overwhelming. Chad Finn, BostonGlobe.com, 30 Sep. 2022 See More

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'avaricious.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History


see avarice

First Known Use

14th century, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of avaricious was in the 14th century

Dictionary Entries Near avaricious

Cite this Entry

“Avaricious.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/avaricious. Accessed 6 Dec. 2023.

Kids Definition


av·​a·​ri·​cious ˌav-ə-ˈrish-əs How to pronounce avaricious (audio)
: greedy for riches
avariciously adverb
avariciousness noun

More from Merriam-Webster on avaricious

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