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[ap-i-tahyt] /ˈæp ɪˌtaɪt/
a desire for food or drink:
I have no appetite for lunch today.
a desire to satisfy any bodily need or craving.
a desire or liking for something; fondness; taste:
an appetite for power; an appetite for pleasure.
Origin of appetite
1275-1325; Middle English appetit (< Anglo-French) < Latin appetītus natural desire, equivalent to appetī- (variant stem of appetere; see appetence) + -tus suffix of v. action
Can be confused
apatite, appetite.
1–3. longing, hunger. 1, 3. thirst. 2. inclination, wish. 3. relish, gusto, zest.
1–3. satiety. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018.
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Examples from the Web for appetite
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • But as for running him into the ground, they had lost their appetite for such fighting.

    Way of the Lawless Max Brand
  • Why not speak of the evils of appetite and of envy and jealousy?

    Understanding the Scriptures Francis McConnell
  • His coming seemed to have taken away all of Hiram's appetite.

  • I had no appetite for breakfast, and life was sustained principally by drink.

    Ned Myers James Fenimore Cooper
  • The sword over his head would never have spoiled his appetite!

    Night and Morning, Complete Edward Bulwer-Lytton
British Dictionary definitions for appetite


a desire for food or drink
a desire to satisfy a bodily craving, as for sexual pleasure
(usually foll by for) a desire, liking, or willingness: a great appetite for work
Derived Forms
appetitive (əˈpɛtɪtɪv; ˈæpɪˌtaɪtɪv) adjective
Word Origin
C14: from Old French apetit, from Latin appetītus a craving, from appetere to desire ardently
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for appetite

c.1300, "craving for food," from Anglo-French appetit, Old French apetit (13c.) "appetite, desire, eagerness," from Latin appetitus "appetite," literally "desire toward," from appetitus, past participle of appetere "to long for, desire; strive for, grasp at," from ad- "to" (see ad-) + petere "go to, seek out" (see petition (n.)).

Of other desires or cravings, from late 14c. As an adjective form, OED lists appetitious (1650s) and appetitual (1610s) as "obsolete," but appetitive (1570s) continues.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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appetite in Medicine

appetite ap·pe·tite (āp'ĭ-tīt')
An instinctive physical desire, as for food or sex.

The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
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Idioms and Phrases with appetite


The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
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