Synonym Chooser

How does the adjective covetous differ from other similar words?

Some common synonyms of covetous are acquisitive, avaricious, grasping, and greedy. While all these words 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

Where would acquisitive be a reasonable alternative to covetous?

The meanings of acquisitive and covetous largely overlap; however, acquisitive implies both eagerness to possess and ability to acquire and keep.

an eagerly acquisitive mind

In what contexts can avaricious take the place of covetous?

The words avaricious and covetous are synonyms, but do differ in nuance. Specifically, avaricious implies obsessive acquisitiveness especially of money and strongly suggests stinginess.

an avaricious miser

How is grasping related to other words for covetous?

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 is it sensible to use greedy instead of covetous?

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

greedy for status symbols

Thesaurus Entries Near covetous

Cite this Entry

“Covetous.” Thesaurus, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 14 Jul. 2024.

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