Greed: Wikis


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From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

1909 painting The Worship of Mammon by Evelyn De Morgan.

Greed (also called avarice) in psychology is an inordinate desire to acquire or possess more than one needs or deserves, especially with respect to material wealth.[1]


Also known as Avarice. Is the desire for material, wealth, or gain, ignoring the realm of the spiritual.

See also



Up to date as of January 14, 2010

From Wikiquote

Greed (or avarice or coveteousness) is the self-serving desire for the pursuit of money, wealth, power, food, or other possessions, especially when this denies the same goods to others. It is generally considered a vice, and is one of the seven deadly sins in Catholicism.



  • Greed will always leave you dissatisfied because you’ll never be able to get everything you desire. Greed never allows you to think you have enough; it always destroys you by making you strive ever harder for more.
    • Rabbi Benjamin Blech, American academic and writer. Taking Stock: A Spiritual Guide to Rising Above Life’s Financial Ups and Downs (2003)
  • Be on your guard against all kinds of greed; for one’s life does not consist in the abundance of possessions.
    • Bible: New Testament, Luke 12:15
  • Covet. I am Covetousness, begotten of an old churl in a leather bag: and might I not obtain my wish, this house, you and all, should turn to gold, that I might lock you safe into my chest. O my sweet gold!
    • Christopher Marlowe (1564-1593), The Tragical History of Doctor Faustus, Act II, Sc II, ln. 127-130, 1616 edition
  • When everyone covets something, they are easily annoyed by it.
  • Men hate the individual whom they call avaricious only because nothing can be gained from him.
    • Voltaire [François Marie Arouet] (1694-1778), French philosopher and essayist. [Philosophical Dictionary (1764)
  • Greed, like the love of comfort, is a kind of fear.
    • Cyril Connolly (1903–1974), British literary critic and author. The Unquiet Grave (1944)
  • Greed is a bottomless pit which exhausts the person in an endless effort to satisfy the need without ever reaching satisfaction.
    • Erich Fromm (1900–1980), Amercan psychologist. Escape from Freedom (1941)
  • The covetousness or the malignity, which saddens me, when I ascribe it to society, is my own. I am environed by my self.
    • Ralph Waldo Emerson (1803–1882), American essayist, poet and aphorist. ‘Character’, Essays, Second Series
  • The point is, ladies and gentleman, that greed, for lack of a better word, is good: Greed is right, greed works.
    • Michael Douglas. As stated by his character Gordon Gekko, in the film, Wall Street, directed by Oliver Stone, screnplay by Stanley Weiser.
  • I have never understood why it is “greed” to want to keep the money you have earned but not greed to want to take somebody else’s money.
    • Thomas Sowell, American economist and political commentator. Barbarians Inside the Gates: And Other Controversial Essays (1999)
  • Greed is alright, by the way. I think greed is healthy. I want you to know that, I think greed is healthy.You can be greedy and still feel good about yourself.
    • Ivan Frederick Boesky Former Wall Street arbitrageur (notable for his prominent role in an insider trading scandal that occurred in the United States in the mid 1980s). Quotation from his Commencement speech at School of Business Administration the University of California, Berkeley, 18th May 1986
  • If you take away ideology, you are left with a case by case ethics which in practise ends up as me first, me only, and in rampant greed.
    • Richard Nelson, American playwright. From the Independent (UK) newspaper, 12th July 1989
  • There is nothing inherently wrong with greed as a human motivator—greed motivating evolution.
    • Oliver Stone, American film director. Taken from DVD Director’s commentory (2000) on his film, Wall Steet.
  • Lesson number one: Don’t underestimat...the other guy’s greed!
  • Lust and greed are more gullible than innocence.
    • Mason Cooley (1927-2002), American literary academic and aphorist. City Aphorisms, Eighth Selection (1991)
  • Greed often finds more pleasure in taking from others than in giving to itself.
    • Simon May, English philosopher. The Pocket Philosopher: a handbook of Aphorisms (1999)
  • Enter stranger, but take heed
    Of what awaits the sin of greed,
    For those who take, but do not earn,
    Must pay most dearly in their turn.
    • J. K. Rowling, ‘Diagon Alley’, Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone
  • Greed is eternal.
  • Covetrousness brings nothing home.
    • English proverb, from J. Clarke’s Paroemiologia Anglo-Latina (1614)
  • When all sins grow old, covetousness is young.
    • English proverb. As noted in George Herbert’s Jacula Prudentum (1651)
  • Greedy folk have long arms.
    • English proverb. As noted in J. Kelly’s Complete Collection of Scottish Proverbs (1721)

Dictionary of Burning Words of Brilliant Writers

Quotes reported in Josiah Hotchkiss Gilbert, Dictionary of Burning Words of Brilliant Writers (1895).

  • It is impossible to conceive any contrast more entire and absolute than that which exists between a heart glowing with love to God, and a heart in which the love of money has cashiered all sense of God — His love, His presence, His glory; and which is no sooner relieved from the mockery of a tedious round of religious formalism, than it reverts to the sanctuaries where its wealth is invested, with an intenseness of homage surpassing that of the most devout Israelite who ever, from a foreign land, turned his longing eyes toward Jerusalem.
  • Avarice is to the intellect what sensuality is to the morals —
    • Anna Jameson, p. 20.
  • Objects close to the eye shut out much larger objects on the horizon; and splendors born only of the earth eclipse the stars. So a man sometimes covers up the entire disk of eternity with a dollar, and quenches transcendent glories with a little shining dust.
  • Poverty is want of much, but avarice of every thing.
    • Publius Syrius, p. 20.
  • Jesus, save me from the infatuation of avarice! I, too, will lay up a treasure, but Thou shalt have the keeping of it.


  • We’re all born brave, trusting and greedy, and most of us remain greedy.
  • It is a sin directly against one’s neighbour, since one man cannot over-abound in external riches, without another man lacking them.
  • Sufficient to say, greed is a deadly deed. You shall not covet your neighbor's goods.
    • Saint Patrick, 5th Century Roman-British Christian bishop and missionary
  • Earth provides enough to satisfy every man’s need, but not every man’s greed.
  • One of the weaknesses of our age is our apparent inability to distinguish our needs from our greeds.
    • Don Robinson
  • Remember: Greed is a bad color on a person.
    • Bill Engvall, American commedian. (Quotation from The Bill Engvall Show.)
  • Greed is good, so long as it can be financed.
  • A covetous man is good to none, but worst to himself.
    • Latin proverb.
  • Covetousness bursts the sack.
    • English 19th Century proverb
  • Don’t get greedy, or don’t get too much stuff that most of it is useless.
    • American proverb

External links

Wikipedia has an article about:
Look up greed in Wiktionary, the free dictionary

Simple English

Greed is a desire to have more goods, or more wealth than is needed. Christianity says that greed is one of the Seven deadly sins. There it is listed as avarice, or in Latin avaritia.


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