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[av-er-is] /ˈæv ər ɪs/
insatiable greed for riches; inordinate, miserly desire to gain and hoard wealth.
Origin of avarice
1250-1300; Middle English < Old French < Latin avāritia, equivalent to avār(us) greedy + -itia -ice
cupidity. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the Web for avarice
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • Fortunately for me he is a rascal, a man without any principle, in whom avarice is a more powerful feeling than justice.

    Mark Hurdlestone Susanna Moodie
  • He is incapable of envy or avarice, whether from virtue or from carelessness.

    Reflections Francois Duc De La Rochefoucauld
  • The avarice of the companies results in misery for the passengers.

    A Man of Samples Wm. H. Maher
  • The old jests about her avarice were repeated over and over again.

    Doctor Pascal Emile Zola
  • No: he hoped for more; and in all his writings sacrificed his duty to his avarice.

    Nature and Art Mrs. Inchbald
British Dictionary definitions for avarice


extreme greed for riches; cupidity
Derived Forms
avaricious, adjective
avariciously, adverb
avariciousness, noun
Word Origin
C13: from Old French, from Latin avaritia, from avārus covetous, from avēre to crave
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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Contemporary definitions for avarice

excessive or insatiable desire or greed; cupidity

Word Origin

Latin avere 'to covet''s 21st Century Lexicon
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Word Origin and History for avarice

c.1300, from Old French avarice "greed, covetousness" (12c.), from Latin avaritia "greed," from avarus "greedy," adjectival form of avere "crave, long for."

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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