SKIP TO CONTENT

greed

Greed is an overwhelming urge to have more of something, usually more than you really need. Watching kids at a birthday party furiously grabbing for candy from a piñata, you might find yourself surprised at their greed.

Greed is often connected with money, a desire to acquire as much of it as possible, but it can refer to that kind of urge toward anything, like food or material possessions. When you see greed, it's an ugly thing, whether you're observing a greedy person or the greed of a huge company that treats its workers badly in order to make more money. Greed comes from the Old English grædig, or "voracious," which means "always hungry for more."

Definitions of greed
  1. noun
    reprehensible acquisitiveness; insatiable desire for wealth (personified as one of the deadly sins)
    synonyms: avarice, avaritia, covetousness, rapacity
    see moresee less
    type of:
    deadly sin, mortal sin
    an unpardonable sin entailing a total loss of grace
  2. noun
    excessive desire to acquire or possess more (especially more material wealth) than one needs or deserves
    see moresee less
    types:
    show 5 types...
    hide 5 types...
    avarice, avariciousness, covetousness, cupidity
    extreme greed for material wealth
    possessiveness
    excessive desire to possess or dominate
    acquisitiveness
    strong desire to acquire and possess
    bibliomania
    preoccupation with the acquisition and possession of books
    retentiveness, retentivity
    the property of retaining possessions that have been acquired
    type of:
    desire
    an inclination to want things
Word Family
EDITOR’S CHOICE

Test prep from the experts

Boost your test score with programs developed by Vocabulary.com’s experts.

  • Proven methods: Learn faster, remember longer with our scientific approach.
  • Personalized plan: We customize your experience to maximize your learning.
  • Strategic studying: Focus on the words that are most crucial for success.

SAT/PSAT

$29.95
  • Number of words: 500+
  • Duration: 8 weeks or less
  • Time: 1 hour / week

TOEFL

$29.95
  • Number of words: 500+
  • Duration: 10 weeks or less
  • Time: 1 hour / week

ACT

$29.95
  • Number of words: 700+
  • Duration: 10 weeks
  • Time: 1 hour / week