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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 ("gladly, willingly" compare Dutch graag), Old High German grātag ‎(greedy), Danish grådig ‎(greedy) (from Old Norse gráðigr ‎(greedy), gráði ‎(greed, hunger)), Gothic 𐌲𐍂𐌴𐌳𐌰𐌲𐍃 ‎(grēdags, hungry). Non-Germanic cognates include Albanian ngordh ‎(to crave for, starve, die).



greedy ‎(comparative greedier, superlative greediest)

  1. Having greed; consumed by selfish desires.
    • 1918, W. B. Maxwell, chapter 7, 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. (computing) Tending to match as much text as possible.
    This regular expression performs a greedy match.


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