27 Idioms for Greed: Expressions of Avarice


Greed, the insatiable desire for wealth and material possessions, has been a recurring theme in human history.

In this article, we’ll delve into idioms for greed—phrases that creatively capture the essence of wanting more than one’s fair share.

Greed is like a voracious beast, insatiable and always hungry for more, devouring everything in its path without regard for the well-being of others. For more comparisons to describe greed, you can check this link: Similes for greed. And for a variety of metaphors related to greed, you can explore this link: Metaphors for greed.

What is an Idiom for Greed?

Idioms for greed are phrases or expressions that use language creatively to describe the relentless pursuit of wealth or the excessive desire for material gain.


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Created by Dr. Julia Rossi

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These idioms often employ metaphors related to money, possessions, and abundance to convey the idea of greed. Let’s explore the meanings and usage of these idiomatic expressions, one by one.

IdiomMeaningExample Sentence
Money TalksWealthy individuals have the power and influence to shape decisions.In politics, it’s often said that money talks.
Greed is GoodThe belief that pursuing one’s self-interest and financial gain benefits society as a whole.Some argue that “greed is good” for motivating people.
Filthy RichExtremely wealthy or affluent.The CEO of the company is filthy rich.
Money-HungryHaving an insatiable appetite for wealth and constantly seeking ways to acquire more.His money-hungry nature led him to risky investments.
Grab the Bull by the HornsTo take control of a situation or opportunity boldly and decisively.She decided to grab the bull by the horns.
A Wolf in Sheep’s ClothingSomeone who appears harmless or friendly but is actually deceitful or dangerous.Be cautious of him; he’s a wolf in sheep’s clothing.
Money is the Root of All EvilThe belief that the love of money can lead to immoral or harmful actions.Some say that “money is the root of all evil.”
A Bottomless PitSomething that consumes an endless amount of resources, often referring to excessive spending.Her shopping addiction is like a bottomless pit.
Line One’s PocketsTo accumulate wealth, especially through dishonest or unethical means.The corrupt official used his position to line his pockets.
Like a Kid in a Candy StoreExcited and enthusiastic, often in a situation where one has many choices or opportunities.He was like a kid in a candy store when shopping for gadgets.
Counting One’s Chickens Before They HatchMaking plans based on expected future gains that may not materialize.He counted his chickens before they hatched, buying a car before winning the lottery.
Money Makes the World Go ‘RoundMoney is essential and a driving force in society.It’s often said that money makes the world go ’round.
Bite the Hand that Feeds YouTo harm or show ingratitude to someone who provides support or assistance.It’s unwise to bite the hand that feeds you.
Money to BurnHaving a surplus of money, often more than one needs.He spends extravagantly because he has money to burn.
Penny PincherSomeone who is excessively frugal or thrifty, often to the point of being stingy.Despite his wealth, he’s a penny pincher.
More Dollars Than SenseHaving wealth but lacking financial wisdom or intelligence.He has more dollars than sense, squandering his money.
A Gold DiggerSomeone who pursues a relationship with another person primarily for their wealth.She suspected he was a gold digger.
Keep Up with the JonesesTo strive to maintain a comparable lifestyle to one’s neighbors or peers.They constantly try to keep up with the Joneses.
Easy MoneyMoney obtained with minimal effort or difficulty, often through questionable means.Scammers promise easy money but deceive victims.
Rob Peter to Pay PaulTo solve one financial problem by creating another, often by shifting funds from one source to another.She had to rob Peter to pay Paul, taking a loan to cover debt.
A Fat CatA wealthy and influential person, especially one who benefits from political connections.The industry’s fat cats get richer while others struggle.
Money Doesn’t Grow on TreesResources are limited, and one should be prudent with spending.Her parents reminded her that money doesn’t grow on trees.
Put All One’s Eggs in One BasketTo risk everything on a single venture or investment.He put all his eggs in one basket, investing everything in a startup.
Money Talks, Wealth WhispersMoney can be loud and showy, while true wealth is often quiet and discreet.She believed that “money talks, wealth whispers.”
Money Can’t Buy HappinessMaterial wealth alone cannot bring true happiness and fulfillment.Despite his wealth, he realized money can’t buy happiness.
Feather One’s NestTo accumulate wealth and comfort for oneself.He worked hard to feather his nest for retirement.
A Fool and His Money Are Soon PartedThose who are careless with their money will lose it quickly.He wasted his inheritance; a fool and his money are soon parted.
idioms for greed

Idioms for Greed

1. Money Talks

Meaning: Wealthy individuals have the power and influence to shape decisions.

In a Sentence: In politics, it’s often said that money talks, as those with deep pockets can sway the outcome of elections.

2. Greed is Good

Meaning: The belief that pursuing one’s self-interest and financial gain benefits society as a whole.

In a Sentence: Some argue that “greed is good” because it motivates people to work hard and innovate.

3. Filthy Rich

Meaning: Extremely wealthy or affluent.

In a Sentence: The CEO of the company is filthy rich, with a mansion in every major city.

4. Money-Hungry

Meaning: Having an insatiable appetite for wealth and constantly seeking ways to acquire more.

In a Sentence: His money-hungry nature led him to engage in risky investments.

5. Grab the Bull by the Horns

Meaning: To take control of a situation or opportunity boldly and decisively.

In a Sentence: She decided to grab the bull by the horns and start her own business.

6. A Wolf in Sheep’s Clothing

Meaning: Someone who appears harmless or friendly but is actually deceitful or dangerous.

In a Sentence: Be cautious of him; he’s a wolf in sheep’s clothing who will exploit your trust.

7. Money is the Root of All Evil

Meaning: The belief that the love of money can lead to immoral or harmful actions.

In a Sentence: Some say that “money is the root of all evil” because it can corrupt people’s morals.

8. A Bottomless Pit

Meaning: Something that consumes an endless amount of resources, often referring to excessive spending.

In a Sentence: Her shopping addiction is like a bottomless pit; she can never have enough.

9. Line One’s Pockets

Meaning: To accumulate wealth, especially through dishonest or unethical means.

In a Sentence: The corrupt official used his position to line his pockets with public funds.

10. Like a Kid in a Candy Store

Meaning: Excited and enthusiastic, often in a situation where one has many choices or opportunities.

In a Sentence: When he entered the electronics store, he was like a kid in a candy store, exploring all the gadgets.

11. Counting One’s Chickens Before They Hatch

Meaning: Making plans based on expected future gains that may not materialize.

In a Sentence: He bought a luxury car before winning the lottery, counting his chickens before they hatched.

12. Money Makes the World Go ‘Round

Meaning: Money is essential and a driving force in society.

In a Sentence: In our modern world, it’s often said that money makes the world go ’round.

13. Bite the Hand that Feeds You

Meaning: To harm or show ingratitude to someone who provides support or assistance.

In a Sentence: It’s unwise to bite the hand that feeds you, as your benefactor may withdraw their help.

14. Money to Burn

Meaning: Having a surplus of money, often more than one needs.

In a Sentence: He spends extravagantly because he has money to burn.

15. Penny Pincher

Meaning: Someone who is excessively frugal or thrifty, often to the point of being stingy.

In a Sentence: Despite his immense wealth, he’s a penny pincher who refuses to spend on anything.

16. More Dollars Than Sense

Meaning: Having wealth but lacking financial wisdom or intelligence.

In a Sentence: He inherited a fortune but has more dollars than sense; he squanders his money on frivolous pursuits.

17. A Gold Digger

Meaning: Someone who pursues a relationship with another person primarily for their wealth.

In a Sentence: She suspected he was a gold digger when he showed interest only after learning about her inheritance.

18. Keep Up with the Joneses

Meaning: To strive to maintain a comparable lifestyle to one’s neighbors or peers.

In a Sentence: They constantly try to keep up with the Joneses, buying new cars and luxury items to match their friends.

19. Easy Money

Meaning: Money obtained with minimal effort or difficulty, often through questionable means.

In a Sentence: Scammers promise easy money but end up deceiving unsuspecting victims.

20. Rob Peter to Pay Paul

Meaning: To solve one financial problem by creating another, often by shifting funds from one source to another.

In a Sentence: She had to rob Peter to pay Paul, taking a loan to cover her credit card debt.

21. A Fat Cat

Meaning: A wealthy and influential person, especially one who benefits from political connections.

In a Sentence: The fat cats in the industry always seem to get richer while others struggle.

22. Money Doesn’t Grow on Trees

Meaning: Resources are limited, and one should be prudent with spending.

In a Sentence: Her parents often reminded her that money doesn’t grow on trees when she asked for extravagant gifts.

23. Put All One’s Eggs in One Basket

Meaning: To risk everything on a single venture or investment.

In a Sentence: He invested all his savings in that startup, putting all his eggs in one basket.

24. Money Talks, Wealth Whispers

Meaning: While money can be loud and showy, true wealth is often quiet and discreet.

In a Sentence: She believed in the saying “money talks, wealth whispers” and preferred modest living despite her riches.

25. Money Can’t Buy Happiness

Meaning: Material wealth alone cannot bring true happiness and fulfillment.

In a Sentence: Despite his wealth, he realized that money can’t buy happiness and sought more meaningful experiences.

26. Feather One’s Nest

Meaning: To accumulate wealth and comfort for oneself.

In a Sentence: He worked hard to feather his nest, ensuring a comfortable retirement.

27. A Fool and His Money Are Soon Parted

Meaning: Those who are careless with their money will lose it quickly.

In a Sentence: He wasted his inheritance on extravagant vacations; a fool and his money are soon parted.

Quizzes About The Idioms in The Article

Here are 10 quiz questions related to the idioms for greed mentioned in the article:

Quiz 1: Money Talks

  1. What does the idiom “Money Talks” mean?
    a) Money can communicate with people.
    b) Wealthy individuals have the power and influence to shape decisions.
    c) Money can make people talkative.

Quiz 2: Filthy Rich

  1. What does it mean to be “Filthy Rich”?
    a) Extremely wealthy or affluent.
    b) Having a lot of dirty money.
    c) Being financially irresponsible.

Quiz 3: A Wolf in Sheep’s Clothing

  1. What does “A Wolf in Sheep’s Clothing” refer to?
    a) A deceptive person who appears harmless.
    b) A friendly animal.
    c) A storybook character.

Quiz 4: Counting One’s Chickens Before They Hatch

  1. What does the idiom “Counting One’s Chickens Before They Hatch” mean?
    a) Making plans based on expected future gains.
    b) Counting chickens in a coop.
    c) Keeping track of farm animals.

Quiz 5: Money Makes the World Go ‘Round

  1. What does “Money Makes the World Go ‘Round” imply?
    a) Money creates a spinning world.
    b) Money is an essential driving force in society.
    c) Money affects the weather.

Quiz 6: Penny Pincher

  1. Who is described as a “Penny Pincher”?
    a) Someone who spends money extravagantly.
    b) Someone who is excessively frugal or thrifty.
    c) A person who collects pennies.

Quiz 7: More Dollars Than Sense

  1. What does it mean to have “More Dollars Than Sense”?
    a) To have excessive knowledge about currency.
    b) To possess wealth but lack financial wisdom.
    c) To be generous with money.

Quiz 8: Keep Up with the Joneses

  1. What does it mean to “Keep Up with the Joneses”?
    a) To have a friendly competition with neighbors.
    b) To strive to maintain a comparable lifestyle to peers or neighbors.
    c) To avoid socializing with neighbors.

Quiz 9: Rob Peter to Pay Paul

  1. What does the idiom “Rob Peter to Pay Paul” describe?
    a) A financial strategy to accumulate wealth.
    b) Solving one financial problem by creating another.
    c) A famous historical event.

Quiz 10: Money Can’t Buy Happiness

  1. What does the expression “Money Can’t Buy Happiness” convey?
    a) Wealth can buy everything, including happiness.
    b) Material wealth alone cannot bring true happiness and fulfillment.
    c) Money is the key to happiness.

Answers:

  1. b) Wealthy individuals have the power and influence to shape decisions.
  2. a) Extremely wealthy or affluent.
  3. a) A deceptive person who appears harmless.
  4. a) Making plans based on expected future gains.
  5. b) Money is an essential driving force in society.
  6. b) Someone who is excessively frugal or thrifty.
  7. b) To possess wealth but lack financial wisdom.
  8. b) To strive to maintain a comparable lifestyle to peers or neighbors.
  9. b) Solving one financial problem by creating another.
  10. b) Material wealth alone cannot bring true happiness and fulfillment.

Conclusion

These idioms for greed offer a glimpse into the human fascination with wealth and the consequences of unchecked avarice. While some idioms celebrate the pursuit of riches, others caution against the pitfalls of greed.

Cite this entry:

Phrasesdirectory.com. “,” Retrieved from Phrases Directory – Accessed

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