\ˈgrē-dē \
greedier; greediest

Definition of greedy 

1 : having a strong desire for food or drink a predator greedy of its prey

2 : marked by greed : having or showing a selfish desire for wealth and possessions greedy creditors

3 : eager, keen greedy for fame

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Other Words from greedy

greedily \ˈgrē-də-lē \ adverb
greediness \ˈgrē-dē-nəs \ noun

Choose the Right Synonym for greedy

covetous, greedy, acquisitive, grasping, avaricious mean having or showing a strong desire for especially material possessions. covetous implies inordinate desire often for another's possessions. covetous of his brother's country estate greedy stresses lack of restraint and often of discrimination in desire. greedy for status symbols acquisitive implies both eagerness to possess and ability to acquire and keep. an eagerly acquisitive mind grasping adds to covetous and greedy an implication of selfishness and often suggests unfair or ruthless means. a hard grasping trader who cheated the natives avaricious implies obsessive acquisitiveness especially of money and strongly suggests stinginess. an avaricious miser

Examples of greedy in a Sentence

He was a ruthless and greedy businessman. There's no need to get greedy—there's plenty for everyone. He blames all his problems on greedy lawyers.
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Recent Examples on the Web

The perpetrators really are despicable and greedy people. Sari Horwitz, Washington Post, "More than 600 charged in nation’s largest heath care fraud investigation," 28 June 2018 How greedy drug company CEO Bob Hugin gouged cancer patients and enabled Donald Trump. Lev Facher, STAT, "Read the fine print: N.J. senator sets up phony health news website to attack challenger Bob Hugin," 13 July 2018 In the smartly political Reagan-era film, a greedy corporation gives a Detroit police officer named Alex Murphy new life as a hybrid human-robot crime fighter. Julie Hinds, Detroit Free Press, "RoboCop statue finds permanent home at Michigan Science Center," 2 May 2018 In this moment, the movie attempts to redefine consumption and consumerism as rebellion, which is something a greedy tech corporation might do. Gary Thompson,, "'Ready Player One': Why did Spielberg's new blockbuster bum me out so much?," 28 Mar. 2018 But don’t get too greedy, this offer is limited to two redemptions per guest per visit. Meghan Overdeep, Southern Living, "Today and Tomorrow Get A Dozen Glazed Doughnuts For Just $1 at Krispy Kreme," 12 June 2018 Coffee that meets the grade is purchased according to international commodity prices set by the New York Stock Exchange, which farmers can monitor via smartphone, cutting out greedy middle-men and ensuring transparency. Time, "In China's Tea-Growing Heartland, Coffee Is Fast Becoming the New Flavor," 5 Apr. 2018 In a lawsuit, the Life Legal Defense Foundation contends the law lacks safeguards to guarantee reliable determinations of sanity and terminal illness and can be exploited by greedy relatives. Bob Egelko,, "California’s assisted-dying law reinstated three weeks after it was blocked," 15 June 2018 Avoid getting greedy Sellers should resist the urge to play buyers off each other in multiple bidding situations. Kenneth R. Gosselin,, "Tips For Home Sellers From The Experts," 17 May 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'greedy.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of greedy

before the 12th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for greedy

Middle English gredy, from Old English grǣdig; akin to Old High German grātac greedy

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Dictionary Entries near greedy





greedy scale



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Last Updated

21 Sep 2018

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Time Traveler for greedy

The first known use of greedy was before the 12th century

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More Definitions for greedy



English Language Learners Definition of greedy

: having or showing a selfish desire to have more of something (such as money or food) : having greed

: very eager to have something


\ˈgrē-dē \
greedier; greediest

Kids Definition of greedy

1 : having or showing a selfish desire for more than is needed

2 : having a strong appetite for food or drink : very hungry

3 : very eager to have something She's greedy for power.

Other Words from greedy

greedily \ˈgrē-də-lē \ adverb

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Comments on greedy

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