Synonym Chooser

How does the adjective greedy differ from other similar words?

Some common synonyms of greedy are acquisitive, avaricious, covetous, and grasping. While all these words mean "having or showing a strong desire for especially material possessions," greedy stresses lack of restraint and often of discrimination in desire.

greedy for status symbols

When is it sensible to use acquisitive instead of greedy?

In some situations, the words acquisitive and greedy are roughly equivalent. However, acquisitive implies both eagerness to possess and ability to acquire and keep.

an eagerly acquisitive mind

When is avaricious a more appropriate choice than greedy?

The words avaricious and greedy can be used in similar contexts, but avaricious implies obsessive acquisitiveness especially of money and strongly suggests stinginess.

an avaricious miser

Where would covetous be a reasonable alternative to greedy?

The meanings of covetous and greedy largely overlap; however, covetous implies inordinate desire often for another's possessions.

covetous of his brother's country estate

How does the word grasping relate to other synonyms for greedy?

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

Thesaurus Entries Near greedy

Cite this Entry

“Greedy.” Thesaurus, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 29 Sep. 2023.

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