Printable Version
Pronunciation: æ-vid Hear it!

Part of Speech: Adjective

Meaning: 1. Having an extremely enthusiastic interest in something, having an eager desire for something. 2. Extremely greedy or thirsty for some abstraction, having an insatiable craving for, gluttonous for an abstract concept.

Notes: This word refers to an extreme figurative appetite for things; it no longer refers to the physical appetite. It comes with the expected adverb, avidly, and noun, avidity.

In Play: Today's word is most often associated with interest and reader: "Noah Zarque was an avid newspaper reader, especially the obituaries, which he read every day to see if his name appeared there." The second sense refers to figurative not literal greed: "Most reporters today are avid for scandals among the rich and famous."

Word History: Today's Good Word was lifted from French in the 18th century. It was the remnant of Latin avidus "desirous, greedy, based on avere "to desire eagerly". Avere was the Latin remodeling of a suffixed form of PIE awe-/awo- "to like, demand; help", which also turns up in Sanskrit avati "encourages, promotes", Welsh ewyllys "will, desire", and Armenian aviun "lust". Another noun from avere was avaritia "greed", which French polished up to produce avarice, which English also nicked without changing a letter.

Dr. Goodword,

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