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[kyoo-pid-i-tee] /kyuˈpɪd ɪ ti/
eager or excessive desire, especially to possess something; greed; avarice.
Origin of cupidity
late Middle English
1400-50; late Middle English cupidite (< Middle French) < Latin cupiditās, equivalent to cupid(us) eager, desirous (cup(ere) to desire + -idus -id4) + -itās -ity
Related forms
[kyoo-pid-n-uh s] /kyuˈpɪd n əs/ (Show IPA),
covetousness, avidity, hunger, acquisitiveness. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018.
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Examples from the Web for cupidity
Historical Examples
  • A new look flashed into her eyes, not cupidity, but purpose.

    K Mary Roberts Rinehart
  • Romance, more than cupidity, is what attracts the gold-brick investor.

  • “I am that,” exclaimed the other, with a gleam of cupidity in his shifty eyes.

    The Golden Woman Ridgwell Cullum
  • He was about to let her carry out her threat if she saw fit when his cupidity overcame him.

    The Harbor of Doubt Frank Williams
  • The curses of Heaven light on the cupidity that has destroyed such a race.

    The Pioneers James Fenimore Cooper
  • The cupidity of the shrewd and unscrupulous and the caprice of the shallow and frivolous.

    The Arena Various
  • That the cupidity of Rasputin knew no bounds I was well aware.

    The Minister of Evil William Le Queux
  • But this had only excited the cupidity of the other petty states.

  • The spirit of revenge with an American Indian is tenfold stronger than cupidity.

    Two Boys in Wyoming Edward S. Ellis
  • There was none of the cupidity of women for jewels in her look.

    The Coast of Chance Esther Chamberlain
British Dictionary definitions for cupidity


strong desire, esp for possessions or money; greed
Word Origin
C15: from Latin cupiditās, from cupidus eagerly desiring, from cupere to long for
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 cupidity

mid-15c., from Anglo-French cupidite, Middle French cupidité, from Latin cupiditatem (nominative cupiditas) "passionate desire, lust; ambition," from cupidus "eager, passionate," from cupere "to desire" (perhaps cognate with Sanskrit kupyati "bubbles up, becomes agitated," Old Church Slavonic kypeti "to boil," Lithuanian kupeti "to boil over"). Despite the primarily erotic sense of the Latin word, in English cupidity originally, and still especially, means "desire for wealth."

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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