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

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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 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 According to a new study from Freedom House, the coronavirus pandemic is accelerating the global crisis of liberal democracy as covetous autocrats take advantage of the emergency to expand their powers. Ian Beacock, The New Republic, 24 Dec. 2020 To the covetous British, Jind Kaur was a nuisance, standing in the way of their annexation of the Sikh Empire. Tunku Varadarajan, WSJ, 21 Oct. 2020 Such an ideal of liberty is the spiritual precondition for our wasteful and decadent industrial system, preventing us from distinguishing our genuine needs from our covetous desires. Harrison Stetler, The New York Review of Books, 21 Jan. 2020 Pesci plays Russell with a subtle menace conveyed through a blank look or a slyly covetous gaze. New York Times, 6 Nov. 2019

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.

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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

12 Sep 2021

Cite this Entry

“Covetous.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 17 Oct. 2021.

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More Definitions for covetous



English Language Learners Definition of covetous

: feeling or showing a very strong desire for something that you do not have and especially for something that belongs to someone else


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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