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 After a hard pandemic year, who doesn’t covet a trophy bottle to toast the start of the post-pandemic era? Elva Ramirez, Forbes, "There’s A Lottery To Win Pappy Van Winkle 2020 - But There’s A Catch," 28 Apr. 2021 Any team who utilizes a dime safety in their defense could covet him. Eddie Brown, San Diego Union-Tribune, "2021 NFL Draft: Top Safeties," 28 Apr. 2021 Apple’s latest M1 iMacs may include powerful new M1 Arm chips that some in the Windows world may covet. Mark Hachman, PCWorld, "Inexplicably, Apple's new M1 iMac doesn't include face logins," 20 Apr. 2021 Forever, the Knicks formula has been to desperately covet the best players in the game, get ignored by them in their free agency prime, and then acquire them—late in their careers, often after injury. Jason Gay, WSJ, "The New York Knicks Are Pretty Good. This Is Huge News.," 19 Apr. 2021 For Android fans who covet a high-end phone, the Samsung Galaxy S21 can't be beaten. Lauren Corona,, "Tablet vs. phone: which is right for you?," 2 Mar. 2021 Though Microsoft won't hold any user data directly as part of the decentralized identity scheme, the approach would potentially make Microsoft accounts even more valuable to attackers, who already covet them. Lily Hay Newman, Wired, "Microsoft's Dream of Decentralized IDs Enters the Real World," 2 Mar. 2021 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

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

2 May 2021

Cite this Entry

“Covet.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 10 May. 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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