cov·​et | \ ˈkə-vət How to pronounce covet (audio) \
coveted; coveting; covets

Definition of covet

transitive verb

1 : to wish for earnestly covet an award
2 : to desire (what belongs to another) inordinately or culpably The king's brother coveted the throne.

intransitive verb

: to feel inordinate desire for what belongs to another

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Other Words from covet

covetable \ ˈkə-​və-​tə-​bəl How to pronounce covet (audio) \ adjective
coveter \ ˈkə-​və-​tər How to pronounce covet (audio) \ noun
covetingly \ ˈkə-​və-​tiŋ-​lē How to pronounce covet (audio) \ adverb

Choose the Right Synonym for covet

desire, wish, want, crave, covet mean to have a longing for. desire stresses the strength of feeling and often implies strong intention or aim. desires to start a new life wish sometimes implies a general or transient longing especially for the unattainable. wishes for permanent world peace want specifically suggests a felt need or lack. wants to have a family crave stresses the force of physical appetite or emotional need. craves sweets covet implies strong envious desire. covets his rise to fame

Examples of covet in a Sentence

The oldest of the students, she had become a confidante of Fern's and she alone was allowed to call her by her first name. It was not a privilege the others coveted. — Edward P. Jones, The Known World, 2003 The only Commandment I'd breached, besides killing that bird with my air rifle, was that I had coveted Bobby Entrekin's electric train. It blew real smoke. Mine didn't. — Lewis Grizzard, Reader's Digest, January 1992 He had discovered a great law of human action, without knowing it—namely, that in order to make a man or a boy covet a thing, it is only necessary to make the thing difficult to attain. — Mark Twain, Tom Sawyer, 1876 His religion warns against coveting material goods. I've been coveting that sleek sports car in the showroom for some time now.
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Recent Examples on the Web Fans still covet a No. 1 wide receiver and a high-end pass rusher, but those are among the most expensive luxuries on the market. Baltimore Sun Staff,, "Ravens offseason roundtable: Answering big questions about Orlando Brown Jr., free agency, the draft and more," 22 Feb. 2021 No longer in need of a big family hauler, folks like us still covet the room of a big SUV but don’t want to show up at the dinner party driving the same ol’ Ford Explorer/Chevy Traverse/Telluride family bus. Tribune News Service, cleveland, "Sorento SUV is luxe ute in Kia clothing," 16 Jan. 2021 The former Rhodes scholar and multilinguist was said to covet the position of United Nations ambassador, but that went to the more experienced Linda Thomas-Greenfield. Bill Ruthhart,, "Joe Biden expected to nominate Pete Buttigieg for transportation secretary, dealing a blow to former Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel," 15 Dec. 2020 Appear too ambitious or gain too much attention, and Biden’s inner circle begins worrying about her political motives, and knives come out among other Democrats who covet the White House. Noah Bierman, Los Angeles Times, "Kamala Harris is on the cusp of power but has to tread carefully," 6 Dec. 2020 Serious bakers covet a stand mixer, especially in classic red, but they can be pricey. Fiona Tapp, CNN Underscored, "Cyber Monday: The best deals in Canada," 29 Nov. 2020 For Durkin, the adamant facts of money blast away the lies that surround it, the deceptions of those who covet it overweeningly, the sham of those who treat it as a badge of honor, the foolishness of those who hope to be warmed by its chilly power. Richard Brody, The New Yorker, "“The Nest,” Reviewed: Jude Law Plays a Banker Who Buys Into Money’s Lies," 17 Nov. 2020 His perimeter shooting and defensive acumen are skills Dallas will covet and seek as the draft and their related moves unfold next week. Callie Caplan, Dallas News, "5 NBA draft prospects the Mavs should consider at No. 18, including RJ Hampton and Desmond Bane," 9 Nov. 2020 Around the country, youth sports have become big business, and cities often covet the facilities as a way to spur local development and lure out-of-towners. Kevin Williams, Star Tribune, "Ohio industrial city converts former mill into giant indoor sports complex," 4 Nov. 2020

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

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First Known Use of covet

14th century, in the meaning defined at transitive sense 1

History and Etymology for covet

Middle English coveiten, from Anglo-French coveiter, from Vulgar Latin *cupidietare, from Latin cupiditat-, cupiditas desire, from cupidus desirous, from cupere to desire

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Time Traveler for covet

Time Traveler

The first known use of covet was in the 14th century

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Statistics for covet

Last Updated

3 Mar 2021

Cite this Entry

“Covet.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 7 Mar. 2021.

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More Definitions for covet



English Language Learners Definition of covet

: to want (something that you do not have) very much


cov·​et | \ ˈkəv-ət How to pronounce covet (audio) \
coveted; coveting

Kids Definition of covet

: to wish for greatly or with envy I admit I covet success. It's wrong to covet a friend's happiness.

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More from Merriam-Webster on covet

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for covet

Nglish: Translation of covet for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of covet for Arabic Speakers

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