grasping 1 of 2


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present participle of grasp

Synonym Chooser

How does the adjective grasping differ from other similar words?

Some common synonyms of grasping are acquisitive, avaricious, covetous, and greedy. While all these words mean "having or showing a strong desire for especially material possessions," 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 acquisitive instead of grasping?

The synonyms acquisitive and grasping are sometimes interchangeable, but acquisitive implies both eagerness to possess and ability to acquire and keep.

an eagerly acquisitive mind

When could avaricious be used to replace grasping?

In some situations, the words avaricious and grasping are roughly equivalent. However, avaricious implies obsessive acquisitiveness especially of money and strongly suggests stinginess.

an avaricious miser

When might covetous be a better fit than grasping?

The words covetous and grasping are synonyms, but do differ in nuance. Specifically, covetous implies inordinate desire often for another's possessions.

covetous of his brother's country estate

Where would greedy be a reasonable alternative to grasping?

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

greedy for status symbols

Thesaurus Entries Near grasping

Cite this Entry

“Grasping.” Thesaurus, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 2 Mar. 2024.

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