from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License
- n. Immoderate desire for the possession of something, especially for wealth.
from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English
- n. Strong desire.
- n. A strong or inordinate desire of obtaining and possessing some supposed good; excessive desire for riches or money; -- in a bad sense.
from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia
- n. Strong desire; eagerness.
- n. The character of being covetous, in an evil sense; a strong or inordinate desire of obtaining and possessing something, without regard to law or justice; overbearing avarice.
- n. Synonyms Avarice, Cupidity, etc. (see avarice), greediness, hankering.
from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.
- n. extreme greed for material wealth
- n. an envious eagerness to possess something
- n. reprehensible acquisitiveness; insatiable desire for wealth (personified as one of the deadly sins)
Here, as in Eph 5: 3, 5, "covetousness" is joined with "fornication": the common fount of both being "the fierce and ever fiercer longing of the creature, which has turned from God, to fill itself with the inferior objects of sense" [Trench, Greek Synonyms of the New Testament].
Everything you ever wanted could be yours so what was the point in covetousness?
I say, it is but a specimen or taste of those numerous, or rather innumerable instances which might be produced; two of which especially I had thought to have spoken something more fully to; namely, the calling covetousness, good husbandry; and prodigality, generosity.
Some lavish gold out of the bag to make an idol of it in the house, while others hoard up gold in the bag to make an idol of it in the heart; for covetousness is idolatry, as dangerous, though not as scandalous, as the other.
The heart must be kept pure from fleshly lusts, all unchaste thoughts and desires; and from worldly lusts; covetousness is called filthy lucre; from all filthiness of flesh and spirit, all that which come out of the heart, and defiles the man.
See what cruelty covetousness is the cause of, and what horrid practices those are often put upon that are greedy to enlarge their own border.
To speak plainly, does the root of all this lie in covetousness, which is idolatry, and do we seek not profit, but a gift.
And what these are he himself explains: "Fornication, uncleanness, inordinate affection, evil concupiscence; and covetousness, which is idolatry."
 Matt.xix. 17, 18, etc.  Harvey here remarks: "In a theological point of view, it should be observed, that no saving merit is ascribed to almsgiving: it is spoken of here as the negation of the vice of covetousness, which is wholly inconsistent with the state of salvation to which we are called."
¶ Mortify therefore your members which are upon the earth; fornication, uncleanness, inordinate affection, evil concupiscence, and covetousness, which is idolatry: for which things 'sake the wrath of God cometh on the children of disobedience: in the which ye also walked sometime, when ye lived in them.