• synonyms


  1. excessive or rapacious desire, especially for wealth or possessions.
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Origin of greed

First recorded in 1600–10; back formation from greedy
Related formsgreed·less, adjectivegreed·some, adjective


avarice, avidity, cupidity, covetousness; voracity, ravenousness, rapacity. Greed, greediness denote an excessive, extreme desire for something, often more than one's proper share. Greed means avid desire for gain or wealth (unless some other application is indicated) and is definitely uncomplimentary in implication: His greed drove him to exploit his workers. Greediness, when unqualified, suggests a craving for food; it may, however, be applied to all avid desires, and need not be always uncomplimentary: greediness for knowledge, fame, praise.


Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Related Words


Examples from the Web for greeds

Historical Examples

  • If we could but rid ourselves quickly of all selfish desires and greeds!

    The Golden Fountain

    Lilian Staveley

  • We came away by means of greeds and curiosities imagined by Self-will.

    The Prodigal Returns

    Lilian Staveley

  • We bring our follies and our greeds, and cast them at Thy feet.

  • Am I a creature of blind instincts, jealousies and greeds and hates beyond my own control entirely?

  • The world of Islam was rent in twain by the spites, greeds, and partisan silliness of a handful of men and women in Medina.

British Dictionary definitions for greeds


  1. excessive consumption of or desire for food; gluttony
  2. excessive desire, as for wealth or power
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Derived Formsgreedless, adjective

Word Origin

C17: back formation from greedy
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

Word Origin and History for greeds



c.1600, a back-formation from greedy.

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper