From Middle English gredy, from Old English grǣdiġ (greedy, hungry, eager), from Proto-Germanic *grēdagaz (hungry), from Proto-Germanic *grēdaz, *grēduz, *grēdô (hunger), from Proto-Indo-European *gʰrēdʰ- (to be hungry, long for), equivalent to greed +‎ -y. Cognate with Old Saxon grādag (greedy), Dutch graag (gladly, willingly), Old High German grātag (greedy), Danish grådig (greedy), Norwegian Bokmål grådig (greedy) (from Old Norse gráðigr (greedy), gráði (greed, hunger)), Gothic 𐌲𐍂𐌴𐌳𐌰𐌲𐍃 (grēdags, hungry). Non-Germanic cognates include Sanskrit गृद्धि (gṛddhi, greed), Albanian ngordh (to crave for, starve, die).


  • IPA(key): /ˈɡɹiːdi/
    • (file)
  • Rhymes: -iːdi


greedy (comparative greedier, superlative greediest)

  1. Having greed; consumed by selfish desires.
    • 1590, Edmund Spenser, The Faerie Qveene. [], London: [] [John Wolfe] for VVilliam Ponsonbie, OCLC 960102938, book II, canto IX, stanza 14, page 311:
      For with ſuch puiſſance and impetuous maine / Thoſe Champions broke on them, that forſt the fly, / Like ſcattered Sheepe, whenas the Shepherds ſwaine / A Lyon and a Tigre doth eſpye, / With greedy pace forth ruſhing from the foreſt nye.
    • 1918, W. B. Maxwell, chapter 7, in The Mirror and the Lamp:
      “[…] Churchill, my dear fellow, we have such greedy sharks, and wolves in lamb's clothing. Oh, dear, there's so much to tell you, so many warnings to give you, but all that must be postponed for the moment.”
  2. Prone to overeat.
  3. (regular expressions) Tending to match as much text as possible.
    Antonyms: lazy, nongreedy, reluctant
    This regular expression performs a greedy match.
  4. (computer science, of an algorithm) That tries to find the global optimum by finding the local optimum at each stage.
    Antonym: nongreedy


Derived termsEdit


  • Sranan Tongo: gridi


The translations below need to be checked and inserted above into the appropriate translation tables, removing any numbers. Numbers do not necessarily match those in definitions. See instructions at Wiktionary:Entry layout § Translations.

Further readingEdit