Synonym Chooser

How does the adjective avaricious differ from other similar words?

Some common synonyms of avaricious are acquisitive, covetous, grasping, and greedy. While all these words mean "having or showing a strong desire for especially material possessions," avaricious implies obsessive acquisitiveness especially of money and strongly suggests stinginess.

an avaricious miser

When is it sensible to use acquisitive instead of avaricious?

Although the words acquisitive and avaricious have much in common, acquisitive implies both eagerness to possess and ability to acquire and keep.

an eagerly acquisitive mind

In what contexts can covetous take the place of avaricious?

The words covetous and avaricious can be used in similar contexts, but 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 avaricious?

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 avaricious?

The meanings of greedy and avaricious largely overlap; however, greedy stresses lack of restraint and often of discrimination in desire.

greedy for status symbols

Thesaurus Entries Near avaricious

Cite this Entry

“Avaricious.” Merriam-Webster.com Thesaurus, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/thesaurus/avaricious. Accessed 3 Oct. 2023.

More from Merriam-Webster on avaricious

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!