mid-13c., "inordinately desirous to obtain and possess, avaricious," from Old French coveitos "desirous, covetous" (12c., Modern French convoiteux), from Vulgar Latin *cupiditosus, from Latin cupiditas "passionate desire, eagerness, ambition," from cupidus "very desirous," from cupere "long for, desire" (see cupidity). From late 14c. in a good sense, "very desirous, eager to acquire." Related: Covetously; covetousness.
COVETOUSNESS. The desire of possessing more than we have, of any good thing whatsoever of which we have already enough for our uses, (adding house to house, and field to field). It is much connected with pride ; but more with restlessness of mind and desire of novelty ; much seen in children who tire of their toys and want new ones. The pleasure in having things 'for one's very own' is a very subtle element in it. [Ruskin, "Fors Clavigera"]
updated on August 06, 2021