cov·et | \ˈkə-vət \
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 \ adjective
coveter \ˈkə-və-tər \ noun
covetingly \ˈkə-və-tiŋ-lē \ 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

South Africa is home to more than 80 percent of the world's rhinos, whose population has been depleted by poaching for buyers in Vietnam and China where rhino horn is coveted as an ingredient in traditional medicine. NBC News, "Rhino poachers eaten by lions on South African game reserve," 6 July 2018 Every seat is coveted; performances typically sell out. New York Times, "As the Frick Expands, New York City Music Suffers," 29 June 2018 The supercar is so coveted among car collectors, including comedian Jay Leno, that Ford requires agreements that illustrate the buyer's commitment to owning the car rather than flipping it for a quick profit. Phoebe Wall Howard, Detroit Free Press, "Raj Nair, fired from Ford, now leads company that builds $450K Ford GT," 18 May 2018 These modern dwellings have characteristics that are still coveted: An open floor plan, floor-to-ceiling windows and spaces that adapt to evolving lifestyles. Janet Eastman,, "Northwest midcentury modern sells fast and above asking price (photos)," 4 May 2018 The club has so far failed to attract a prize that Trump covets: the British Open, a landmark tournament awarded by the tweedy, risk-averse inner circle of British golf. James Hohmann, Washington Post, "The Daily 202: Toothless trade resolution demonstrates Congress’s unwillingness to check Trump," 12 July 2018 The Boston Celtics are among several teams speaking with the Spurs and have the assets San Antonio covets. Nihal Kolur,, "Kawhi Leonard Trade Rumors: Lakers Offers Considered 'Unacceptable'," 2 July 2018 After all, that oversize tote is likely stuffed with bikinis, caftans, and those coveted new Valentino gladiator sandals, and there likely isn’t much room for beauty supplies. Jenna Rennert, Vogue, "What to Stock at Your Beach House, From SPF to a Luxurious Bug Repellant," 15 June 2018 The battle for Sky is just one front in the larger contest between Comcast and Disney over the wider collection of Fox assets both covet. Ben Dummett, WSJ, "U.K. Indicates It Won’t Block Fox’s Sky Bid If Sky News Is Sold," 5 June 2018

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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Statistics for covet

Last Updated

7 Oct 2018

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for covet

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

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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 \
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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Comments on covet

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


evasion of direct action or statement

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