cupidity

noun cu·pid·i·ty \ kyu̇-ˈpi-də-tē \

Definition of cupidity

plural cupidities
1 :inordinate desire for wealth :avarice, greed
  • the cupidity of the bankers
2 :strong desire :lust

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Examples of cupidity in a Sentence

  1. The evidence revealed the cupidity of the company's directors.

  2. reports of great treasure in the Indies inflamed the cupidity of Columbus's crew

Recent Examples of cupidity from the Web

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

Did You Know?

From its verb "cupere" ("to desire") Latin derived three nouns which have passed with minimal modification into English. Cupiditas meant "yearning and "desire"; English borrowed this as "cupidity," which originally in the 15th century was synonymous with "lust." (The "greed" meaning of "cupidity" developed very soon after this other now-archaic meaning.) Latin cupido started out as a near synonym of "cupiditas," but it came to stand for the personification of specifically carnal desire, the counterpart of Greek eros; this is the source of our familiar (and rather domesticated) Cupid. A strengthened form of "cupere" - concupiscere, meaning "to desire ardently - yielded the noun "concupiscentia" in the Late Latin of the Christian church. "Concupiscentia" came specially to denote sexual desire, a meaning reflected in the English version concupiscence, meaning "sexual desire."

Origin and Etymology of cupidity

Middle English cupidite, from Anglo-French cupidité, from Latin cupiditat-, cupiditas — more at covet


CUPIDITY Defined for English Language Learners

cupidity

noun

Definition of cupidity for English Language Learners

  • : a strong desire for money or possessions



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