av·​id ˈa-vəd How to pronounce avid (audio)
: characterized by enthusiasm and vigorous pursuit : very eager and enthusiastic
avid readers/fans
an avid golfer
: desirous to the point of greed : urgently eager : greedy
avid for publicity/success
avidly adverb
avidness noun

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The Finer Points of Avid

The original and now relatively unfamiliar sense of avid, “desirous to the point of greed,” developed logically from its root in Latin, avēre (meaning “to long for”). It appears in such phrases as “avid of fame” and “avid for details,” expressions we are more likely to encounter in formal writing than in speech. More common today is the word’s somewhat weakened and ameliorated (that is, “made better,” or given a more positive connotation) meaning “extremely enthusiastic.” This is the sense regularly used of people who have embraced some hobby or pursuit (such as avid readers, gardeners, or knitters).

Choose the Right Synonym for avid

eager, avid, keen, anxious, athirst mean moved by a strong and urgent desire or interest.

eager implies ardor and enthusiasm and sometimes impatience at delay or restraint.

eager to get started

avid adds to eager the implication of insatiability or greed.

avid for new thrills

keen suggests intensity of interest and quick responsiveness in action.

keen on the latest fashions

anxious emphasizes fear of frustration or failure or disappointment.

anxious not to make a social blunder

athirst stresses yearning but not necessarily readiness for action.

athirst for adventure

Examples of avid in a Sentence

He is an avid admirer of horror movies. They took an avid interest in politics. some of the newspaper's most avid readers
Recent Examples on the Web An avid traveler, Moses sailed in Norway last summer and plans to travel to Mozambique this winter. Natalie Kainz, NBC News, 24 Nov. 2023 Winterthur’s Henry Francis duPont, an avid collector of Americana whose family home Winterthur became a museum, was tapped to chair the effort. Jura Koncius, Washington Post, 21 Nov. 2023 From Dopp kits to ornaments, these gifts will make any avid traveler swoon. Austa Somvichian-Clausen, Travel + Leisure, 20 Nov. 2023 Jillian is also an avid runner who enjoys being outside. Liam Quinn, Peoplemag, 13 Nov. 2023 Its 2013 induction into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame, with Dave Grohl as its avid champion, symbolized hard rock’s growing acceptance among gatekeepers. Rob Tannenbaum, Los Angeles Times, 13 Nov. 2023 Originally opened in 1965 by Johnno Jackson, an avid sailor who wanted to create a tropical island fantasia, Kona Village was a time machine, a dream factory, a memory maker. Hugh Garvey, Sunset Magazine, 6 Nov. 2023 That may sound surprising, but Wright is an avid surfer, and at the first meeting, the two spoke for hours, breaking down character motivations and sharing Jefferson’s vision for what the movie could be. Clayton Davis, Variety, 10 Nov. 2023 Until recently, the 61-year-old radio host and avid horse rider wasn't doing much in the way of self-care. Jessica Radloff, Glamour, 9 Nov. 2023 See More

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'avid.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History


French or Latin; French avide, from Latin avidus, from avēre to desire, crave; akin to Welsh ewyllys desire, Old Irish con-oí he protects

First Known Use

1769, in the meaning defined at sense 2

Time Traveler
The first known use of avid was in 1769

Dictionary Entries Near avid

Cite this Entry

“Avid.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/avid. Accessed 2 Dec. 2023.

Kids Definition


av·​id ˈav-əd How to pronounce avid (audio)
: having so much desire for something as to be greedy
avid for attention
: very eager : enthusiastic
an avid football fan
avidness noun

More from Merriam-Webster on avid

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