View synonyms for acquisitive


[ uh-kwiz-i-tiv ]


  1. tending or seeking to acquire and own, often greedily; eager to get wealth, possessions, etc.:

    our acquisitive impulses; acquisitive societies.

    Synonyms: avaricious, grasping, covetous


/ əˈkwɪzɪtɪv /


  1. inclined or eager to acquire things, esp material possessions

    we currently live in an acquisitive society

“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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Derived Forms

  • acˈquisitively, adverb
  • acˈquisitiveness, noun
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Other Words From

  • ac·quisi·tive·ly adverb
  • ac·quisi·tive·ness noun
  • nonac·quisi·tive adjective
  • nonac·quisi·tive·ly adverb
  • nonac·quisi·tive·ness noun
  • preac·quisi·tive adjective
  • preac·quisi·tive·ly adverb
  • preac·quisi·tive·ness noun
  • unac·quisi·tive adjective
  • unac·quisi·tive·ly adverb
  • unac·quisi·tive·ness noun
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Word History and Origins

Origin of acquisitive1

1630–40; < Medieval Latin, Late Latin acquīsītīvus; acquisition, -ive
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Example Sentences

BDG-YahooBDG has been extremely acquisitive for years, and its CEO Bryan Goldberg has been pretty widely available to discuss the media M&A landscape.

From Digiday

Pattisall likened Omnicom’s approach to Stagwell’s, in that both are building out their technical ability to deliver on these newer services, while IPG and Publicis have been more acquisitive in buying Acxiom and Epsilon, respectively.

From Digiday

Accenture Interactive has been on an acquisitive spree of sorts over the last 10 years, growing its roster of independent agencies, as well as digital and marketing services firms.

From Digiday

Comcast, acquisitive octopus that it is, has a new, $45 billion bid for Time Warner Cable currently on the table.

“I think at that level the acquisitive hunter-gatherer gene influences them more than riches,” Bass said.

Along with his relatives and cronies, Karzai is widely suspected of corruption of both the acquisitive and political variety.

Susan Sontag once described the camera as “the ideal arm of consciousness in an acquisitive mood.”

His acquisitive mind was never idle, and in 1732 he began the publication of the celebrated "Poor Richard's Almanac."

Now here was an oddity in a world of self-centred, acquisitive tradespeople: a dealer who decried her own wares.

The angler constructs nothing: he belongs to the acquisitive branch.

He traces the Sophist by descending subdivision from the acquisitive genus of art.

Again, we may find the Sophist by descending through a different string of subordinate classes from the genus — Acquisitive Art.


Related Words

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More About Acquisitive

What does acquisitive mean?

Acquisitive most generally means tending or seeking to gain possession of wealth or material things, especially in a greedy way.

It’s perhaps most commonly used in a more specific way to describe companies that are known for acquiring (buying) other companies and properties—which are often referred to as acquisitions. (However, it’s used much less commonly than acquisition.) This sense of the word doesn’t necessarily imply greediness like the more general sense does, but it can imply that such companies tend to buy up competitors.

Example: The tech conglomerates are notoriously acquisitive, buying out any startup that has some technology they want.

Where does acquisitive come from?

The first records of the word acquisitive come from around 1600. It ultimately comes from the Latin verb acquīrere, which is the root of acquire and means “to add to one’s possessions.”

Due to the common use of acquisition to refer to a company bought by another company, acquisitive is most commonly used in this context. Acquisition can also be used in many general ways to refer to things acquired or the process or acquiring things, including intangible things like knowledge and skills. But acquisitive, when used in a general way, almost always refers to the tendency to try to acquire material goods or money. Criticism of consumerism often involves the discussion of the acquisitive nature of consumers who keep buying stuff.

Acquisitive should not be confused with the term inquisitive, which is used to describe a person who’s curious or asks a lot of questions.

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What are some other forms related to acquisitive?

  • acquisitively (adverb)
  • acquisitiveness (noun)
  • nonacquisitive (adjective)
  • nonacquisitively (adverb)
  • acquisition (noun)
  • acquire (verb)

What are some words that share a root or word element with acquisitive


What are some words that often get used in discussing acquisitive?

What are some words acquisitive may be commonly confused with?

How is acquisitive used in real life?

Acquisitive is often used in a somewhat formal way. It is most commonly used in the context of mergers and acquisitions.



Try using acquisitive!

Is acquisitive used correctly in the following sentence? 

Children tend to be acquisitive and need to be taught how to share.




acquisition accountingacquit