See more synonyms for avid on Thesaurus.com
  1. showing great enthusiasm for or interest in: an avid moviegoer.
  2. extremely desirous (often followed by for or sometimes of): avid for pleasure; avid of power.

Origin of avid

1760–70; < French avide < Latin avidus, equivalent to av(ēre) ‘to crave’ + -idus -id4
Related formsav·id·ly, adverbav·id·ness, nounun·av·id, adjectiveun·av·id·ly, adverbun·av·id·ness, noun

Synonym study

Avid, eager, keen all share the sense of strongly desirous. Avid suggests a desire akin to greed, so strong as to be insatiable: driven by an avid need for fame and recognition. Eager implies a desire that is strong and impatient but less than overpowering: eager to try his hand at new tasks. Keen carries a sense of zest and active, alert desire: an amateur painter, ever keen to try new techniques.

Word story

The word avid is relatively new, coming into the language in the 18th century from the French word avide, which comes from the Latin word avidus. That word, in turn, comes from the Latin verb avēre, a multifaceted word that is translated as “to crave, long for,” but incorporates many levels of desire, from eagerness to hunger to outright lust.
As used in English, the sense of physical craving or hunger is very rare, as in this 1866 translation of a line from Ovid's Metamorphoses: “Or dragon avid for his prey.” Instead, we tend to use avid synonymously with “intensely eager.” What avid lends to “eager” is the added dimension of intensification by either enthusiasm (an avid fan of indie films) or desire, which can sometimes morph into greed (avid for company; avid for gold). An excess of any of these qualities may lead to darker territories, as shown by this 1953 quote from The New Yorker: “He was writing for a public avid for gruesome details.”

Popular references

—Avid: A non-linear video editing system developed by Avid Technology, Inc. Best known in the film and video production industry are the Media Composer and Pro Tools video and sound editing software. The Avid editing system was used to edit films such as Iron Man 2, 2012, and Hurt Locker, among many others. Pro Tools was used for the sound edit and mix of Avatar.
—AVID: acronym for Advancement Via Individual Determination. A teaching system designed to help underachieving students with high academic potential prepare for entrance to colleges and universities. The system was developed in 1980 by Mary Catherine Swanson, an English teacher from San Diego.
—AVID: acronym for American Veterinary Identification Devices. These are microchips that are permanently implanted in a pet to be used for the animal's identification.
Related Quotations
  • "Avid readers are enchanted by meaning, which is available chiefly in books."
    -Mason Cooley City Aphorisms, Fourth Selection (1987)
  • "Augustine's…avid fondness for theatrical ‘spectacles.’"
    -Robert J. O'Connell Images of Conversion in St. Augustine's Confessions (1996)
  • "Avid of gold, yet greedier of renown"
    -Robert Southey Covadonga The Poetical Works of Robert Southey: Volume 9 (1838)
  • "He was convivial, bawdy, robustly avid for pleasure."
    -F. Scott Fitzgerald The Rich Boy (1926)
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Examples from the Web for avidly

Contemporary Examples of avidly

Historical Examples of avidly

  • With wonderful quickness a crowd had collected, all avidly eager for a fight.

    The Trail of '98

    Robert W. Service

  • Then he was avidly busy in the pit, working as carefully as a fine jeweller.

    The Planet Strappers

    Raymond Zinke Gallun

  • While she was avidly eating the soup she heard steps in the hall and a knock at the door.

    The Goose Man

    Jacob Wassermann

  • Julia was avidly, yet resentfully, aware of his surreptitious admiration.


    Evelyn Scott

  • She had a strange delusion that one was avidly interested in ones schoolbooks.

British Dictionary definitions for avidly


  1. very keen; enthusiastican avid reader
  2. (postpositive; often foll by for or of) eager (for); desirous (of); greedy (for)avid for revenge
Derived Formsavidly, adverb

Word Origin for avid

C18: from Latin avidus, from avēre 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

Word Origin and History for avidly



1769, from French avide (15c.), from Latin avidus "longing eagerly, desirous, greedy," from avere "to desire eagerly." Also in part a back-formation from avidity. Related: Avidly.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper