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[av-uh-rish-uh s] /ˌæv əˈrɪʃ əs/
characterized by avarice; greedy; covetous.
Origin of avaricious
late Middle English
late Middle English word dating back to 1425-75; See origin at avarice, -ious
Related forms
avariciously, adverb
avariciousness, noun
Synonym Study
Avaricious, covetous, greedy, rapacious share the sense of desiring to possess more of something than one already has or might in normal circumstances be entitled to. Avaricious often implies a pathological, driven greediness for money or other valuables and usually suggests a concomitant miserliness: the cheerless dwelling of an avaricious usurer. Covetous implies a powerful and usually illicit desire for the property or possessions of another: The book collector was openly covetous of my rare first edition. Greedy, the most general of these terms, suggests a naked and uncontrolled desire for almost anything—food and drink, money, emotional gratification: embarrassingly greedy for praise. Rapacious, stronger and more assertive than the other terms, implies an aggressive, predatory, insatiable, and unprincipled desire for possessions and power: a rapacious frequenter of tax sales and forced auctions. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018.
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Examples from the Web for avaricious
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • He is a countryman of mine; and I know he is as avaricious as an Odomantian.

    Philothea Lydia Maria Child
  • Many of them were avaricious, timid, lazy and inattentive to their duties.

  • "Never mind the profits, you avaricious Jew," replied Lawless.

    Frank Fairlegh Frank E. Smedley
  • The shell-fishes that bite them are their avaricious hearts.

    Theodoric the Goth Thomas Hodgkin
  • Greed, sometimes sat in the councils, and the avaricious bent the rules.

    David Lannarck, Midget George S. Harney
  • Conjectures about the motives of avaricious men, v.121 to 153.

    Essay on Man Alexander Pope
  • The avaricious are out of the pale of peace already, and at all events.

    Deerbrook Harriet Martineau
Word Origin and History for avaricious

late 15c., from Old French avaricios "greedy, covetous" (Modern French avaricieux), from avarice (see avarice). An Old English word for it was feoh-georn. Related: Avariciously; avariciousness.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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