Synonym Chooser

How does the adjective acquisitive differ from other similar words?

Some common synonyms of acquisitive are avaricious, covetous, grasping, and greedy. While all these words mean "having or showing a strong desire for especially material possessions," acquisitive implies both eagerness to possess and ability to acquire and keep.

an eagerly acquisitive mind

When could avaricious be used to replace acquisitive?

While in some cases nearly identical to acquisitive, avaricious implies obsessive acquisitiveness especially of money and strongly suggests stinginess.

an avaricious miser

When would covetous be a good substitute for acquisitive?

While the synonyms covetous and acquisitive are close in meaning, covetous implies inordinate desire often for another's possessions.

covetous of his brother's country estate

How does the word grasping relate to other synonyms for acquisitive?

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

When might greedy be a better fit than acquisitive?

The synonyms greedy and acquisitive are sometimes interchangeable, but greedy stresses lack of restraint and often of discrimination in desire.

greedy for status symbols


Thesaurus Entries Near acquisitive

Cite this Entry

“Acquisitive.” Thesaurus, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 22 Feb. 2024.

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