eager or excessive desire, especially to possess something; greed; avarice.

Origin of cupidity

1400–50; late Middle English cupidite (< Middle French) < Latin cupiditās, equivalent to cupid(us) eager, desirous (cup(ere) to desire + -idus -id4) + -itās -ity
Related formscu·pid·i·nous [kyoo-pid-n-uhs] /kyuˈpɪd n əs/, adjective

Synonyms for cupidity Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for cupidity

Historical Examples of cupidity

  • A new look flashed into her eyes, not cupidity, but purpose.


    Mary Roberts Rinehart

  • Romance, more than cupidity, is what attracts the gold-brick investor.

  • “I am that,” exclaimed the other, with a gleam of cupidity in his shifty eyes.

    The Golden Woman

    Ridgwell Cullum

  • He was about to let her carry out her threat if she saw fit when his cupidity overcame him.

    The Harbor of Doubt

    Frank Williams

  • The curses of Heaven light on the cupidity that has destroyed such a race.

    The Pioneers

    James Fenimore Cooper

British Dictionary definitions for cupidity



strong desire, esp for possessions or money; greed

Word Origin for cupidity

C15: from Latin cupiditās, from cupidus eagerly desiring, from cupere 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 cupidity

mid-15c., from Anglo-French cupidite, Middle French cupidité, from Latin cupiditatem (nominative cupiditas) "passionate desire, lust; ambition," from cupidus "eager, passionate," from cupere "to desire" (perhaps cognate with Sanskrit kupyati "bubbles up, becomes agitated," Old Church Slavonic kypeti "to boil," Lithuanian kupeti "to boil over"). Despite the primarily erotic sense of the Latin word, in English cupidity originally, and still especially, means "desire for wealth."

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper