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

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.
Recent Examples on the Web The 27-year-old customer service rep in Orlando, Fla., used to covet the latest boisterous Nike Dunks, but his allegiances have shifted lately to slip-on mules. Jacob Gallagher, WSJ, 19 July 2022 Facebook might covet Clubhouse, but buying it is now out of the question. Steven Levy, Wired, 12 Mar. 2021 There’s other top pass-rushers who covet the crown — eight of the last 10 winners have totaled at least 11 sacks — such as Nick Bosa, Joey Bosa, Chase Young, Khalil Mack, Maxx Crosby and Danielle Hunter. cleveland, 16 July 2022 Los Angeles producers covet tax credits and currency savings when coming north to shoot on soundstages in Toronto. Etan Vlessing, The Hollywood Reporter, 30 June 2022 Defensive coordinators covet his size/speed combo at the MIKE linebacker position in the NFL. Eddie Brown, San Diego Union-Tribune, 28 Apr. 2022 Defensive coordinators covet his size/speed combo at the MIKE linebacker position in the NFL. Eddie Brown, San Diego Union-Tribune, 28 Apr. 2022 Defensive coordinators covet his size/speed combo at the MIKE linebacker position in the NFL. Eddie Brown, San Diego Union-Tribune, 28 Apr. 2022 With his abundant athleticism and relentless motor, Hutchinson seems like exactly the kind of prospect that coach Dan Campbell would covet. Michael Middlehurst-schwartz, USA TODAY, 28 Apr. 2022 See More

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.

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

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Last Updated

6 Aug 2022

Cite this Entry

“Covet.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 13 Aug. 2022.

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More Definitions for covet


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.

More from Merriam-Webster on covet

Nglish: Translation of covet for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of covet for Arabic Speakers


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