I am in search for a term that describes someone doing anything to get money. For this, he or she may compromise his or her moral or ethics. Thank You in advance.


The closest term I can think for this person is

mercenary - interested only in the money or other personal advantages that you can get from something

But then, it serves as an adjective.

Note that when the term is used as a noun, it describes a soldier who will fight for any country or group that offers payment.

I got the better option:

venal -prepared to do dishonest or immoral things in return for money

  • 2
    Doesn't greedy work? – Rucheer M Nov 27 '14 at 5:42
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    Greedy is a person who wants more money. Not necessarily leaving his moral/ethics as you describe! – Maulik V Nov 27 '14 at 5:43
  • @MaulikV A greedy person is usually willing to do anything, ethical or not, for what they want. If I was greedy for up votes, I would post "greedy" as an answer even though it wasn't my idea. The connotation fits well. – D_Bester Nov 27 '14 at 8:32
  • True but greedy could be applied to anything, not necessarily money. What say? @D_Bester On the other hand, venal and mercenary are meant to associate with money! – Maulik V Nov 27 '14 at 8:38
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    Greedy is a more common word. I'm American (USA) but I didn't know the definition of venal. I completely agree that both of your words fit better than greedy. – D_Bester Nov 27 '14 at 8:43

A profiteer tries to make abnormally high profits and is usually seen as someone with questionable scruples

An unmarried woman is a gold digger if she is trying to 'trap' a wealthy man into marriage, mostly interested in his wealth. This term, and practice(?) is a bit dated.

Ruthless can be used for someone who will stop at nothing, although he doesn't necessarily operate out of a fiduciary motive.

A tycoon is someone who has made it big in money, and we know such a person can never have enough. You could use ruthless tycoon. Or just - capitalist. ;)

Mercenary is a good word. I would use that before I used venal. ;)

A scrooge is, well, a scrooge, someone who hoards money and is loath to depart with it.

A shylock is a person of irreputable character (literally) who lends money for an extremely high return.

An extortionist will use criminal methods to get money out of people.

Money grubber is excellent for one whose main interest in life is acquiring wealth.

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    You forgot banker or, more accurately, investment banker. :) – Perleone Nov 27 '14 at 11:52

Maybe "acquisitive" or "avaricious", the latter is more toxic sounding.


This answer depends on your context. If you're referring to someone who would rip out their own teeth on command just to get some extra money, then you'd simply call such a person "desperate."

If you're talking about someone who, in business practices of any kind, will do anything they can get away with for the sake of extra profit, you'd say they are "cut-throat".

(of a competitive situation or activity) fierce and intense; involving the use of ruthless measures.

"cutthroat competition led to a lot of bankruptcies"

synonyms: ruthless, merciless, fierce, intense, aggressive, dog-eat-dog; vulgar slang: ass-kicking

"cutthroat competition between rival firms"

In informal speech, you would hear such a person being described as someone willing to part with the most precious and priceless of things for the smallest of gains. It's typical to hear/say something like "He/she would sell INSERT_SOMETHING_PRICELESS just to make a buck." Some examples:

He'd sell his own mother for a buck.

He'd sell his kids if he could.

He'd sell his soul to get ahead.

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