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[gree-dee] /ˈgri di/
adjective, greedier, greediest.
excessively or inordinately desirous of wealth, profit, etc.; avaricious:
the greedy owners of the company.
having a strong or great desire for food or drink.
keenly desirous; eager (often followed by of or for):
greedy for praise.
Origin of greedy
before 900; Middle English gredy, Old English grædig; cognate with Old Norse grāthugr, Gothic gredags
Related forms
greedily, adverb
greediness, noun
overgreedily, adverb
overgreediness, noun
overgreedy, adjective
ungreedy, adjective
1. grasping, rapacious, selfish. 2. ravenous, voracious, gluttonous, insatiable. 3. covetous, anxious.
1. generous, unselfish.
Synonym Study
1, 3. See avaricious. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018.
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Examples from the Web for greedily
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • A stick of candy from Tom's pocket was greedily accepted by Jackie.

    The Dare Boys of 1776 Stephen Angus Cox
  • He pushed the ham bone between the slats, and Job received it greedily.

    The Woman-Haters Joseph C. Lincoln
  • He seemed again to be drawing in nourishment from all he saw, drinking it greedily.

    The Great Hunger Johan Bojer
  • Anything that related to the politics of Kansas the boy listened to greedily.

    The Boy Settlers

    Noah Brooks
  • They had clutched at him greedily, and he had repaid with an impertinence.

    Olive in Italy Moray Dalton
  • Antonio regarded her with his soul in his eyes, then greedily kissed her hands.

  • Flames licked at them greedily, touching and shriveling their flesh.

    Tess of the Storm Country

    Grace Miller White
  • Kitty threw a crust to the goldfish and watched them swirl about it greedily.

    The Lure of the Mask Harold MacGrath
British Dictionary definitions for greedily


adjective greedier, greediest
excessively desirous of food or wealth, esp in large amounts; voracious
(postpositive) foll by for. eager (for): a man greedy for success
Derived Forms
greedily, adverb
greediness, noun
Word Origin
Old English grǣdig; related to Old Norse grāthugr, Gothic grēdags hungry, Old High German grātac
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for greedily

Old English grædiglice; see greedy + -ly (2).



Old English grædig (West Saxon), gredig (Anglian) "voracious," also "covetous," from Proto-Germanic *grædagaz (cf. Old Saxon gradag "greedy," Old Norse graðr "greed, hunger," Danish graadig, Dutch gretig, Old High German gratag "greedy"), from *græduz (cf. Gothic gredus "hunger," Old English grædum "eagerly"), possibly from PIE root *gher- "to like, want" (cf. Sanskrit grdh "to be greedy").

In Greek, the word was philargyros, literally "money-loving." A German word for it is habsüchtig, from haben "to have" + sucht "sickness, disease," with sense tending toward "passion for."

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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