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[av-uh-rish-uh s]
See more synonyms for avaricious on Thesaurus.com
  1. characterized by avarice; greedy; covetous.
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Origin of avaricious

late Middle English word dating back to 1425–75; see origin at avarice, -ious
Related formsav·a·ri·cious·ly, adverbav·a·ri·cious·ness, 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.
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Related Words for avaricious

covetous, gluttonous, predatory, rapacious, selfish, tight, hoarding, money-grubbing

Examples from the Web for avaricious

Contemporary Examples of avaricious

Historical Examples of avaricious

  • He is a countryman of mine; and I know he is as avaricious as an Odomantian.


    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

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.

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper