- (Archaic or humorous) Hungry or greedy.
“When I skip breakfast, I feel positively esurient by lunchtime.”
“You can count on Aunt Ida and her esurient dog to clear the table of any leftovers.”
“It’s not healthy to have such an esurient attitude with your finances.”
Latin, late 17th century
Why this word?
Everyone understands the word “hungry” — it means someone feels a desire for food. But language gives us the capacity for nuance. Someone with an enormously large hunger might be described as famished, and their tablemate who only wants a few bites might say they’re feeling peckish. The word “esurient” — from the Latin “esse,” meaning “eat” — describes a particularly greedy type of hunger. If you see someone gobbling the dinner rolls or perhaps hoarding their wealth (hunger can be for money or love, among other things), they might be esurient.
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