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Definition of Avaricia

The word avarice means an inordinate eagerness for the possession of much wealth, goods, or objects of abstract value just for the pleasure of hoarding them without sharing them with anyone else, far beyond the amounts required for basic survival.


  1. Greed
  2. Stinginess
  3. Meanness


The word avarice comes from the Latin avaritia and this in turn from avārus (avaricious) which comes from the verb avēre (to desire, to long for, with subtle craving) and is related to the Sanskrit term av- to love, to want.


The term as a psychological and secular concept means the chaotic desire for acquisition without measure, the desire to possess more than one needs. The level of mental disturbance is linked to the inability to control the rethinking of these “wants” after the supposed “needs” are eliminated.

Eric Fromm describes greed as “a bottomless pit that exhausts the individual who makes an endless effort to satisfy a need but will never achieve the goal”.

In general the word is used to criticize those who seek excessive material wealth, but it can also be applied in situations where the individual “needs” to be higher than other people from a social and moral point of view.

Disposophobia or compulsive hoarding syndrome is a psychological disorder characterized by a tendency to accumulate items or objects excessively, in reference to socially accepted amounts, and being unable to get rid of them, even if the objects are worthless or dangerous.

Buddhists believe that greed is based on a mistaken material connection with happiness and that this is caused by a certain perspective that exaggerates the aspects of a certain object.