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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.
  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
  5. (archaic) Greedily sought or pursued.
    • c. 1587–1588, [Christopher Marlowe], Tamburlaine the Great. [] The First Part [], part 1, 2nd edition, London: [] [R. Robinson for] Richard Iones, [], published 1592, OCLC 932920499; reprinted as Tamburlaine the Great (A Scolar Press Facsimile), Menston, Yorkshire; London: Scolar Press, 1973, →ISBN, Act II, scene ii:
      Suppoſe they be in number infinit,
      Yet being voyd of Martiall diſcipline,
      All running headlong after greedie ſpoiles: []
      Their careleſſe ſwords ſhal lanch their fellows throats
      And make vs triumph in their ouerthrow.


Derived terms[edit]


  • 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[edit]