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From Middle English coveten, coveiten, coveyten, from Old French covoitier (modern French convoiter), from covoitié (desire), presumably modified from Latin cupiditas. First used in the 14th century.



covet (third-person singular simple present covets, present participle coveting, simple past and past participle coveted)

  1. (transitive) To wish for with eagerness; to desire possession of, often enviously.
    • 1991, Anthony Hopkins as Hannibal Lecter, The Silence of the Lambs, written by Ted Tally:
      No! He covets. That is his nature. And how do we begin to covet, Clarice? Do we seek out things to covet? Make an effort to answer now.
  2. (transitive) To long for inordinately or unlawfully; to hanker after (something forbidden).
  3. (intransitive) To yearn; to have or indulge an inordinate desire, especially for another's possession.

Derived terms[edit]


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Further reading[edit]