Covetousness is the condition of being covetous. Its root is the same as that of cupidity, cupio, desire. It is used with especial reference to acquisition. It is generally used in an ill sense.
The word is akin to “avariciousness,” but worse in spirit; for the avaricious man desires to get and to hold all he can in the way of wealth, while the covetous man desires to obtain it from others.
In the commandment, “Thou shalt not covet,” the word comes from a Hebrew root, meaning “to delight in,” having all the faculties of the soul yielded to the one thing, so that others are secondary. In the New Testament, the Greek word signifies to set the heart upon, to desire with an all-absorbing passion. The very root of the word signifies to breathe hard. It means to desire with such soul-absorbing intensity that the thing desired seems necessary to life or happiness.
It means to stretch one's self, to reach out after, till one loses balance; to desire eagerly, greedily, so that the rights of others are not regarded. Thus the thing coveted becomes an object of worship, and covetousness is seen to be idolatry. Col. 3:5 --Signs of The Times