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  1. tending or seeking to acquire and own, often greedily; eager to get wealth, possessions, etc.: our acquisitive impulses; acquisitive societies.
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Also ac·quis·i·to·ry [uh-kwiz-i-tawr-ee, -tohr-ee] /əˈkwɪz ɪˌtɔr i, -ˌtoʊr i/.

Origin of acquisitive

1630–40; < Medieval Latin, Late Latin acquīsītīvus; see acquisition, -ive
Related formsac·quis·i·tive·ly, adverbac·quis·i·tive·ness, nounnon·ac·quis·i·tive, adjectivenon·ac·quis·i·tive·ly, adverbnon·ac·quis·i·tive·ness, nounpre·ac·quis·i·tive, adjectivepre·ac·quis·i·tive·ly, adverbpre·ac·quis·i·tive·ness, nounun·ac·quis·i·tive, adjectiveun·ac·quis·i·tive·ly, adverbun·ac·quis·i·tive·ness, noun

Synonyms for acquisitive

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Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Related Words for acquisitive

rapacious, avaricious, avid, covetous, demanding, desirous, grasping, greedy, predatory, grabby, prehensile

Examples from the Web for acquisitive

Contemporary Examples of acquisitive

Historical Examples of acquisitive

  • He was of an acquisitive nature, was Charlie—and the road to his favor must be paved with gifts.

    Good Indian

    B. M. Bower

  • All art was divided originally by us into two branches—productive and acquisitive.



  • You have a more energetic, stirring, acquisitive, and capacious soul.

  • He is silent but acquisitive, so I do not tease him with too many explanations.

  • From an acquisitive standpoint the locality signifies no longer.

    The Book-Collector

    William Carew Hazlitt

British Dictionary definitions for acquisitive


  1. inclined or eager to acquire things, esp material possessionswe currently live in an acquisitive society
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Derived Formsacquisitively, adverbacquisitiveness, 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

Word Origin and History for acquisitive


1630s, "owned through acquisition," from Latin acquisit-, past participle stem of acquirere (see acquisition) + -ive. Meaning "given to acquisition, avaricious" is from 1826 (implied in acquisitiveness). Related: Acquisitively (1590s).

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper