Excessively greedy or eager to acquire money or material wealth


US English

UK English

Part of Speech



greedy, acquisitive, rapacious, covetous, miserly, penny-pinching


generous, unselfish, charitable, open-handed, philanthropic

Word Forms

Part of Speech Words
Noun avariciousness, avarices, avariciousnesses, avarice
Verb None
Adjective avaricious
Adverb avariciously

Example Sentences

  • The avaricious CEO prioritized profit over the well-being of employees, implementing cost-cutting measures that compromised their livelihoods.

  • His avaricious desire for wealth led him to exploit vulnerable individuals through fraudulent investment schemes.

  • The avaricious landlord raised the rent exorbitantly, taking advantage of the housing crisis to maximize their profits.

  • The avaricious politician accepted bribes and kickbacks, betraying the trust of the electorate for personal financial gain.


The word “avaricious” has its roots in the Latin word “avarus,” meaning “greedy” or “covetous.” It denotes an intense and insatiable desire for wealth or material possessions. The term carries a negative connotation, reflecting a selfish and excessive longing for monetary gain, often at the expense of others.

The prefix “a-” in “avaricious” implies a sense of negation or absence, while the root “-var-” stems from the Latin word “varus,” which conveys the idea of crookedness or distortion. The combination suggests a twisted or distorted relationship with wealth, wherein the desire for accumulation becomes disproportionate and morally objectionable.

As an adjective, “avaricious” describes individuals who are excessively eager to amass wealth, often displaying a lack of generosity or consideration for others. It implies a relentless pursuit of monetary gain, driven by an unquenchable greed that may blind one to the needs and well-being of others. Avaricious behavior often involves exploitation, hoarding, or an unscrupulous approach to financial matters.

The word “avaricious” stands on its own as an adjective without any common prefixes or suffixes. Its simplicity allows it to directly convey the notion of extreme greed and avarice.

In summary, “avaricious” reflects an intense desire for wealth, marked by a relentless pursuit of financial gain at the expense of others. Its history and usage underscore its association with excessive greed and a morally objectionable approach to wealth accumulation. The word serves as a reminder of the importance of striking a balance between personal prosperity and consideration for the well-being of others.