greedy

[ gree-dee ]
/ ˈgri di /

adjective, greed·i·er, greed·i·est.

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.

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Origin of greedy

First recorded before 900; Middle English gredy, Old English grædig; cognate with Old Norse grāthugr, Gothic gredags

synonym study for greedy

1, 3. See avaricious, greed.

OTHER WORDS FROM greedy

Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2020

VOCAB BUILDER

What does greedy mean?

Greedy means filled with greed—an excessive desire for more, especially for more money and possessions.

It can be used to describe people, as in greedy billionaires, or actions that are based on greed, as in It was a greedy scheme to squeeze more money out of people.  

Greed and greedy are always used negatively to criticize the excessive desire for more.

Greed is often thought to influence people to do bad things in their obsession to acquire more money or more stuff. In the expression “the love of money is the root of all evil,” the love of money is another way of saying being greedy.

Less commonly, greedy can mean the same thing as gluttonous—having an excessive desire for food.

Example: These greedy hedge fund managers have more money than they can spend in a lifetime, yet they insist on trying to get away with paying the least amount of taxes possible.

Where does greedy come from?

The first records of the word greedy come from before 900. It comes from the Old English grædig, which is related to the Gothic grēdags, meaning “hungry.” (The noun greed is first recorded much later, in the 1600s, and is actually a back formation of greedy, which means that greedy came first and was altered to make the noun greed.)

Being greedy makes people insatiable—meaning that they’re hungry to acquire more and more money or things, but they’re never satisfied with what they have.

Greed is one of the so-called seven deadly sins in Christian theology. In this context, it is sometimes known by the more formal names of avarice and covetousness. The adjectives avaricious and covetous are more formal synonyms of greedy.

In pop culture, greed is associated with the character Ebenezer Scrooge in Charles Dickens’s A Christmas Carol—so much so that the name Scrooge has become a way of referring to a greedy miser or moneygrubber. A more modern example of a character known for being greedy is Gordon Gekko from the movie Wall Street, whose catch phrase is “Greed is good.”

The opposite of being greedy is being generous—being willing to give away one’s money or possessions instead of being obsessed with acquiring more.

Did you know ... ?

What are some other forms related to greedy?

  • greediness (noun)
  • greed (noun)

What are some synonyms for greedy?

What are some words that share a root or word element with greedy

 

 

What are some words that often get used in discussing greedy?

 

How is greedy used in real life?

Greedy is always used in a critical way.

 

 

Try using greedy!

Which of the following words is NOT a synonym of greedy?

A. avaricious
B. covetous
C. generous
D. rapacious

Example sentences from the Web for greedy

British Dictionary definitions for greedy

greedy
/ (ˈɡriːdɪ) /

adjective greedier or 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 of greedy

greedily, adverbgreediness, noun

Word Origin for greedy

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