1. An instinctive physical desire, especially one for food or drink.
2. A strong wish or urge: an appetite for learning.
3. A collective demand: America's appetite for fossil fuels.
[Middle English apetit, from Old French, from Latin appetītus, strong desire, from past participle of appetere, to strive after : ad-, ad- + petere, to seek; see pet- in the Appendix of Indo-European roots.]
appe·ti′tive (ăpĭ-tī′tĭv, ə-pĕtĭ-tĭv) adj.
The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition copyright ©2019 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.
Indo-European & Semitic Roots Appendices
Thousands of entries in the dictionary include etymologies that trace their origins back to reconstructed proto-languages. You can obtain more information about these forms in our online appendices:
The Indo-European appendix covers nearly half of the Indo-European roots that have left their mark on English words. A more complete treatment of Indo-European roots and the English words derived from them is available in our Dictionary of Indo-European Roots.