817a. Greed

817a. Greed [excessive desire.] – NOUN. covetousness, ravenousness &c. adj.; venality, avidity, cupidity; acquisitiveness (acquisition) 775; desire &c. 865.

[greed for money or material things] greed, greediness, avarice, avidity, rapacity, extortion.

selfishness &c. 943; auri sacra fames [Lat.].

grasping, craving, canine appetite, rapacity.

VERB. covet, crave (desire) 865; grasp; exact, extort.

ADJ. greedy, avaricious, covetous, acquisitive, grasping; rapacious; lickerish.

greedy as a hog; overeager; voracious; ravenous, ravenous as a wolf; openmouthed, extortionate, exacting, sordid, alieni appetens [Lat.] {See Phrases below}; insatiable, insatiate; unquenchable, quenchless; omnivorous.

PHR. Amittit merito proprium, qui alienum appetit. [Lat.] {Phædrus—I. iv. 1. “Who covets another’s goods, deservedly loses his own.” (From the fable of the Dog and the Shadow, who lost the bone in his mouth by attempting to snatch its reflection in the water). }.

Tantum se fortunæ permittunt, etiam et naturam dediscant. [Lat.] {Quintus Curtius“They give themselves up so much to the pursuit of fortune, that they even discard nature.” }.

I have a habit of observing things at close quarters, which is why our colleagues of the Literary Chamber dislike me so cordially in debate. Where I delve they but skim. Behind those labourers and artisans of Nantes, counselling them, urging on these poor, stupid, ignorant toilers to shed their blood in pursuit of the will o’ the wisp of freedom, are the sail-makers, the spinners, the ship-owners and the slave-traders. The slave-traders! The men who live and grow rich by a traffic in human flesh and blood in the colonies, are conducting at home a campaign in the sacred name of liberty! Don’t you see that the whole movement is a movement of hucksters and traders and peddling vassals swollen by wealth into envy of the power that lies in birth alone? The money-changers in Paris who hold the bonds in the national debt, seeing the parlous financial condition of the State, tremble at the thought that it may lie in the power of a single man to cancel the debt by bankruptcy. To secure themselves they are burrowing underground to overthrow a state and build upon its ruins a new one in which they shall be the masters. And to accomplish this they inflame the people. Already in Dauphiny we have seen blood run like water – the blood of the populace, always the blood of the populace. Now in Brittany we may see the like. And if in the end the new ideas prevail? if the seigneurial rule is overthrown, what then? You will have exchanged an aristocracy for a plutocracy. Is that worth while? Do you ’think that under money-changers and slave-traders and men who have waxed rich in other ways by the ignoble arts of buying and selling, the lot of the people will be any better than under their priests and nobles? Has it ever occurred to you, Philippe, what it is that makes the rule of the nobles so intolerable? Acquisitiveness. Acquisitiveness is the curse of mankind. And shall you expect less acquisitiveness in men who have built themselves up by acquisitiveness? Oh, I am ready to admit that the present government is execrable, unjust, tyrannical – what you will; but I beg you to look ahead, and to see that the government for which it is aimed at exchanging it may be infinitely worse.”

{Rafael Sabatini—Scaramouche. Ch. I. The Republican.}.

Alieni appetens, sui profusus, ardens in cupiditatibus; satis loquentiæ, sapientiæ parum. [Lat.] {Sallustius—Catilina. V. 4. “While coveting the wealth of others, he was at the same time lavish with his own. A man of passionate desires, fluent enough in speech but lacking wisdom.” }.

When to the selfishness of the beneficiaries of unjust discrimination under our laws there shall be added the discontent of those who suffer from such discrimination, we will realize the fact that the beneficent purposes of our Government, dependent upon the patriotism and contentment of our people, are endangered.

Communism is a hateful thing and a menace to peace and organized government; but the communism of combined wealth and capital, the outgrowth of overweening cupidity and selfishness, which insidiously undermines the justice and integrity of free institutions, is not less dangerous than the communism of oppressed poverty and toil, which, exasperated by injustice and discontent, attacks with wild disorder the citadel of rule.

He mocks the people who proposes that the Government shall protect the rich and that they in turn will care for the laboring poor. Any intermediary between the people and their Government or the least delegation of the care and protection the Government owes to the humblest citizen in the land makes the boast of free institutions a glittering delusion and the pretended boon of American citizenship a shameless imposition.

{Grover Cleveland—State of the Union Address. (December 3, 1888). }.

See also Upton Sinclair on slavery, extravagance, greed and waste in Phrases for Prodigality.


Roget’s Thesaurus 1911. Compiled, edited and supplemented by Nicholas Shea. Dev version 1.7.9b Compiled on: 19 January 2022 at 05:16:38
CORRECTED HEADS: 1 to 905; CORRECTED QUOTES: 1 to 905; ALL OTHER HEADS & QUOTES IN PROGRESS. www.neolithicsphere.com

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