greedier; greediest
: marked by greed : having or showing a selfish desire for wealth and possessions
greedy creditors
: eager, keen
greedy for fame
: having a strong desire for food or drink
a predator greedy of its prey
greedily adverb
greediness 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 businesswoman who cheated her associates

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.
Recent Examples on the Web TikTok responded to the announcement with a similarly charged, albeit shorter, statement calling UMG greedy and deceptive. Reece Rogers, WIRED, 31 Jan. 2024 The Patriots got greedy and raised three banners in the first decade of the 21st century, and three more in the second. Blair Kerkhoff, Kansas City Star, 25 Jan. 2024 The reason is that the pharmaceutical industry is an extremely greedy industry. Anna Gordon, TIME, 7 Feb. 2024 The Public Utilities Commission should be held accountable, as well, for their lack of oversight and not reining in PG&E for their greedy overreach for higher rates. Letters To The Editor, The Mercury News, 12 Jan. 2024 In dramatizing the horrific killings of oil-rich Osage tribespeople by murderously greedy white men, our reigning master of the American crime epic directs his gaze and ours toward America’s foundational crimes. Justin Chang, Los Angeles Times, 24 Jan. 2024 Jane’s bigwig bosses, played by Joe Tapper and Jeffrey King, are flat, greedy villains, figured as heirs to the deceptive, and ultimately murderous, founders of the market system (Tapper’s Dutch trader, at least, demonstrates some measure of humanity). Naveen Kumar, New York Times, 6 Dec. 2023 In recent weeks, 4chan users have shared instructions to use AI image generation tools that are freely available online to create antisemitic depictions of Jewish people, leaning into old tropes of them as evil or greedy puppet masters, according to Memetica. Donie O'Sullivan, CNN, 14 Nov. 2023 The Hunger Games series by Suzanne Collins (2008) The Hunger Games series In The Hunger Games, Collins transports us to the dystopian realm of Panem, a North American nation characterized by the greedy Capitol and 13 districts grappling with poverty. Boutayna Chokrane, Vogue, 31 Dec. 2023 See More

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'greedy.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History


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

First Known Use

before the 12th century, in the meaning defined at sense 3

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

Dictionary Entries Near greedy

Cite this Entry

“Greedy.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 3 Mar. 2024.

Kids Definition


greedier; greediest
: having a keen appetite
: having an eager and often selfish desire or longing
greedy for praise
: wanting more than one needs or more than one's fair share (as of food)
greedily adverb
greediness noun

More from Merriam-Webster on greedy

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