cov·​et·​ous | \ ˈkə-və-təs How to pronounce covetous (audio) \

Definition of covetous

1 : marked by inordinate desire for wealth or possessions or for another's possessions He looked at his boss's new car with covetous eyes.
2 : having a craving for possession covetous of power

Other Words from covetous

covetously adverb
covetousness noun

Choose the Right Synonym for covetous

covetous, greedy, acquisitive, grasping, avaricious mean having or showing a strong desire for especially material possessions. covetous implies inordinate desire often for another's possessions. covetous of his brother's country estate greedy stresses lack of restraint and often of discrimination in desire. greedy for status symbols acquisitive implies both eagerness to possess and ability to acquire and keep. an eagerly acquisitive mind grasping adds to covetous and greedy an implication of selfishness and often suggests unfair or ruthless means. a hard grasping businesswoman who cheated her associates avaricious implies obsessive acquisitiveness especially of money and strongly suggests stinginess. an avaricious miser

Examples of covetous in a Sentence

The expensive car drew many covetous looks. one aggressive bargain hunter rushed to make a covetous grab for the last marked-down TV
Recent Examples on the Web That is, unless covetous bidders don’t have something else in mind. Tori Latham, Robb Report, 23 May 2022 In her grief, Lennie abandons her musical pursuits (leaving her school-band solos to the covetous queen bee Rachel, played by Julia Schlaepfer). Richard Brody, The New Yorker, 10 Feb. 2022 Whatever their covetous neighbors say, Taiwan and Ukraine have the essential features of independent nationhood. Christopher Demuth, WSJ, 4 Feb. 2022 Conventional wisdom is that corporations cannot innovate because executives are too covetous of their profits to risk pursuing unproven ideas. Andy Binns, Fortune, 31 Jan. 2022 In Punjab, even under the British, families like Sohel’s kept up connections in the underworld, just to make sure that covetous eyes were not unduly drawn to their property and treasure. Cressida Leysho, The New Yorker, 31 Aug. 2021 The Bears are casting a covetous glance at a 326-acre parcel of revenue-spinning potential that lies near two interstate highways and a Metra station. John Keilman,, 19 June 2021 Because works by Mark Rothko, Jeff Koons and, yes, Leonardo da Vinci, now fetch enormously high prices, museums and municipalities are turning to the finest of fine art with covetous eyes and thinning pocketbooks. Michael Granberry, Dallas News, 12 Mar. 2021 Not so with the Globes, which nominated Ripley for Best Picture (Drama), Minghella for Director, Law for Supporting Actor, and Matt Damon for playing against type as the covetous, diabolical faker Tom Ripley. Joe Reid, Vulture, 22 Feb. 2021 See More

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

First Known Use of covetous

13th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for covetous

see covet

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The first known use of covetous was in the 13th century

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Last Updated

27 May 2022

Cite this Entry

“Covetous.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 28 May. 2022.

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More Definitions for covetous


cov·​et·​ous | \ ˈkə-vət-əs How to pronounce covetous (audio) \

Kids Definition of covetous

: having or showing too much desire for wealth or possessions or for something belonging to another person

More from Merriam-Webster on covetous

Nglish: Translation of covetous for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of covetous for Arabic Speakers


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