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[uh-kwiz-i-tiv] /əˈkwɪz ɪ tɪv/
tending or seeking to acquire and own, often greedily; eager to get wealth, possessions, etc.:
our acquisitive impulses; acquisitive societies.
Also, acquisitory
[uh-kwiz-i-tawr-ee, -tohr-ee] /əˈkwɪz ɪˌtɔr i, -ˌtoʊr i/ (Show IPA)
Origin of acquisitive
1630-40; < Medieval Latin, Late Latin acquīsītīvus; see acquisition, -ive
Related forms
acquisitively, adverb
acquisitiveness, noun
nonacquisitive, adjective
nonacquisitively, adverb
nonacquisitiveness, noun
preacquisitive, adjective
preacquisitively, adverb
preacquisitiveness, noun
unacquisitive, adjective
unacquisitively, adverb
unacquisitiveness, noun
covetous, grasping, avaricious. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the Web for acquisitive
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • It is of the essence of the scheme that the acquisitive activities of mankind afford a net balance of pleasure.

  • The mind of the modern Japanese is progressive and acquisitive.

    The Empire of the East H. B. Montgomery
  • He was of an acquisitive nature, was Charlie—and the road to his favor must be paved with gifts.

    Good Indian B. M. Bower
  • The acquisitive Spaniard soon “caught on” and has never yet let go.

    On the Mexican Highlands William Seymour Edwards
  • This growth and development which I speak of is not intellectual in the acquisitive sense.

    The Hive Will Levington Comfort
  • The acquisitive instincts of man were exaggerated at the expense of the creative.

British Dictionary definitions for acquisitive


inclined or eager to acquire things, esp material possessions: we currently live in an acquisitive society
Derived Forms
acquisitively, adverb
acquisitiveness, 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
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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).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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