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From Middle English gredy, from Old English gr?di? ("greedy, hungry, eager"), from Proto-Germanic *gr?dagaz ("hungry"), from Proto-Germanic *gr?daz, *gr?duz, *gr?dô ("hunger"), from Proto-Indo-European *g?r?d?- ("to be hungry, long for"), equivalent to greed +‎ -y. Cognate with Old Saxon gr?dag ("gladly, willingly" compare Dutch graag), Old High German gr?tag ("greedy"), Danish grådig ("greedy"), Norwegian Bokmål grådig ("greedy") (from Old Norse gráðigr ("greedy"), gráði ("greed, hunger")), Gothic ? (gr?dags, "hungry"). Non-Germanic cognates include Sanskrit (g?ddhi, "greed"), Albanian ngordh ("to crave for, starve, die").



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 terms


  • 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 reading


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