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Saturday, July 06
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Word of the Day

acquisitive • \uh-KWIZ-uh-tiv\  • adjective

: strongly desirous of acquiring and possessing


The game aims to teach middle schoolers to balance their acquisitive instincts with a consideration of what will benefit society as a whole.

"[Property, by Lionel Shriver, is a] collection of short fiction that becomes a catalog of the ways an acquisitive urge can go astray. Renters become unhappy owners; a gift prompts a battle among friends; a man and his father feud over £160 and the price of an airmail stamp." — The New York Times, 2 Dec. 2018

Did you know?

While acquisitive is a useful synonym of the likes of greedy and avaricious, it's relatively unknown compared to its more popular lexical relations, acquire and acquisition. The former of that pair is most often used to mean "to get as one's own," as in "skills acquired through practice"; the latter refers either to the act of acquiring something, as in "the acquisition of skills," or to something or someone acquired or gained, as in "the museum's recent acquisitions." All three have as their ultimate source the Latin word acquīrere, meaning "to acquire." While acquire and acquisition have both been in use since the 15th century, acquisitive is a bit younger. The word has a somewhat rare use meaning "capable of acquiring" that dates to the late 16th century, but its "greedy" meaning dates only to the early 19th century.

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