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[av-uh-rish-uh s] /ˌæv əˈrɪʃ əs/
characterized by avarice; greedy; covetous.
Origin of avaricious
late Middle English
1425-75; late Middle English; see avarice, -ious
Related forms
avariciously, adverb
avariciousness, noun
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. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the web for avaricious
  • The cloud over the business world comes not so much from law-breaking as from avaricious bruising of the public interest.
  • If she chooses to be avaricious she will be a hated and opposed leader.
  • The avaricious arachnid returns in this trickster-gets-tricked tale from Ghana.
  • Brands are the 20th century version of avaricious colonists swapping beads for land with naive natives.
  • Managers and their lawyers, investment bankers and accountants simply lied to investors for their own avaricious gain.
  • Henrik is sure she was murdered and believes the killer is a member of his avaricious and secretive family.
  • He is ambitious and avaricious.
  • There are too may lawyers dreaming up these evil avaricious schemes in this country.
  • The manipulators are viewed as self-serving and avaricious.
  • It may be objected, that very wise men have been notoriously avaricious.
Word Origin and History for avaricious

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.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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