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

Shunning convention, whether in clothing, haircuts or coveting a BB gun and sparring gear at 10. Diana Kapp, Washington Post, "Every year I write my daughter a letter. They’ve helped her find herself.," 11 July 2019 Avalanche general manager Joe Sakic covets leadership, which is why Lee might be higher on his list than Panarin or anyone else. Mike Chambers, The Denver Post, "Analysis: Avalanche must get their guy in NHL free agency," 1 July 2019 After a breakout remarkable season, Giannis Antetokounmpo, the Greek-Nigerian Milwaukee Bucks star, picked up the NBA’s coveted Most Valuable Player (MVP) award, becoming the second ever Bucks player to do so after the legendary Kareem Abdul-Jabbar. Yomi Kazeem, Quartz Africa, "Africa took center stage on one of the biggest nights of the NBA season," 25 June 2019 Durant, who was less than three weeks from being one of the two most, if not the most, coveted free agents available, will presumably enter an offseason crowded in uncertainty. Dan Woike,, "NBA Finals: Warriors defeat Raptors but Kevin Durant exits with injury," 10 June 2019 An invite to the Party of the Year is as elusive as finding a golden ticket in a Wonka bar: coveted and difficult to obtain. Vogue, "See 57 Celebrities Who Attended the Met Gala for the First Time," 7 May 2019 Earl Thomas has been many things for the Seahawks in his eight seasons with Seattle – a franchise icon, a defensive force, and a tone-setter for the type of intensity that Pete Carroll covets and craves. Larry Stone, The Seattle Times, "Limbo dance: Seahawks can certainly do without dreaded drama of Earl Thomas holdout," 24 July 2018 The entire Spencer family snagged coveted invites to the royal wedding, and undoubtedly, came to show their support. Alex Warner, Marie Claire, "6 Things to Know About Lady Kitty Spencer, Princess Diana's Niece," 19 May 2018 The King signing is another example of the type of athlete coveted by the Pistons' front office, under the direction of senior advisor Ed Stefanski, who is in the middle of his second offseason in Detroit. Vince Ellis, Detroit Free Press, "Detroit Pistons continue strategy of long, rangy players by landing Louis King," 21 June 2019

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

15 Jul 2019

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 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

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with covet

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for covet

Spanish Central: Translation of covet

Nglish: Translation of covet for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of covet for Arabic Speakers

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