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[kuhv-i-tuh s] /ˈkʌv ɪ təs/
inordinately or wrongly desirous of wealth or possessions; greedy.
eagerly desirous.
Origin of covetous
1250-1300; Middle English coveitous < Anglo-French, Old French; see covet, -ous
Related forms
covetously, adverb
covetousness, noun
noncovetous, adjective
noncovetously, adverb
noncovetousness, noun
overcovetous, adjective
overcovetously, adverb
overcovetousness, noun
uncovetous, adjective
uncovetously, adverb
uncovetousness, noun
1. grasping, rapacious.
Synonym Study
1. See avaricious. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2017.
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Examples from the Web for covetously
Historical Examples
  • The vendors would move the baskets they had bought around with their feet, while the beach-combers looked on covetously.

    Mayflower (Flor de mayo) Vicente Blasco Ibez
  • He snatched it covetously from the letter-rack, and carried it upstairs to his room.

    The Adventures of Sally P. G. Wodehouse
  • He took it all into his heart, covetously, greedily, trying to fix it there forever.

    Robert Elsmere Mrs. Humphry Ward
  • Then he leaned forward, his eyes fixed boldly, covetously on her.

    The Salamander Owen Johnson
  • Fleming's eye glanced at it covetously, ignoring the figure behind it.

  • "If she is like you—no doubt," said Escobar, and again he smiled at her covetously.

    The Summons A.E.W. Mason
  • "Wish we were on the same game," added Branscombe covetously.

  • Only let him pierce to the heart of it--realize it, covetously, to the full!

    The Testing of Diana Mallory Mrs. Humphry Ward
  • He followed her covetously with his eyes, murmuring as he sprang to the ground a wish that those apples also could be stolen.

    The Precipice Ivan Goncharov
  • McCartney watched them covetously as they emptied the leathern shaker, solemnly counting the spots at the conclusion of each cast.

    Mortmain Arthur Cheny Train
British Dictionary definitions for covetously


(usually postpositive) and foll by of. jealously eager for the possession of something (esp the property of another person)
Derived Forms
covetously, adverb
covetousness, noun
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 covetously



mid-13c., from Old French coveitos (12c., Modern French convoiteux) "desirous, covetous," from Vulgar Latin *cupiditosus, from Latin cupiditas (see covet). Related: Covetously; covetousness.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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