• synonyms


[av-uh-rish-uh s]
  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

Examples from the Web for avariciously

Historical Examples

  • Her eyes gleamed out at him expectantly, avariciously, with some suspicion, too.

    The Prisoner

    Alice Brown

  • The man took it, eyed it avariciously and stuffed it into a pocket.

    Jack Harvey's Adventures

    Ruel Perley Smith

  • I don't like his face—' it's avariciously vicious—he's greedy.

    Bulldog Carney

    W. A. Fraser

  • And if it be avariciously asked, "How much must I give him?"

    The Anti-Slavery Examiner, Omnibus

    American Anti-Slavery Society

  • And if it be avariciously asked, 'How much must I give him?'

    The Anti-Slavery Examiner, Omnibus

    American Anti-Slavery Society

Word Origin and History for avariciously



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