Quantcast
Merriam-Webster Logo
  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
  • Medical
  • Scrabble
  • Spanish Central
  • Learner's Dictionary
1

envy

play
noun en·vy \ˈen-vē\

Simple Definition of envy

  • : the feeling of wanting to have what someone else has

  • : someone or something that causes envy

Full Definition of envy

plural envies

  1. 1 :  painful or resentful awareness of an advantage enjoyed by another joined with a desire to possess the same advantage

  2. 2 obsolete :  malice

  3. 3 :  an object of envious notice or feeling <his new car made him the envy of his friends>

Examples of envy

  1. my envy of his success

  2. Their exotic vacations inspired envy in their friends.

  3. We watched with envy as the yacht slid past us.



Origin of envy

Middle English envie, from Anglo-French, from Latin invidia, from invidus envious, from invidēre to look askance at, envy, from in- + vidēre to see — more at wit


First Known Use: 13th century


2

envy

verb en·vy

Simple Definition of envy

  • : to feel a desire to have what someone else has : to feel envy because of (someone or something)

Full Definition of envy

en·vieden·vy·ing

  1. transitive verb
  2. 1 :  to feel envy toward or on account of

  3. 2 obsolete :  begrudge

  4. intransitive verb
  5. obsolete :  to feel or show envy

en·vy·ing·ly play \-vē-iŋ-lē\ adverb

Examples of envy

  1. I envy you for your large group of friends.

  2. I envy the way you've made so many friends.



14th Century

First Known Use of envy

14th century



ENVY Defined for Kids

1

envy

play
noun en·vy \ˈen-vē\

Definition of envy

plural envies

  1. 1 :  a feeling of unhappiness over another's good fortune together with a desire to have the same good fortune <He was filled with envy on seeing her success.>

  2. 2 :  a person or a thing that is envied




2

envy

play
verb en·vy

Definition of envy

en·vieden·vy·ing

  1. :  to feel unhappiness over the good fortune of (someone) and desire the same good fortune :  feel envy toward or because of <I envy you for your talent.>





Seen and Heard

What made you want to look up envy? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).

WORD OF THE DAY

February 8, 2016

to clear from accusation or blame

Get Word of the Day daily email!

WORD GAMES

Take a 3-minute break and test your skills!

image1037863653

Which of the following refers to thin, bending ice, or to the act of running over such ice?

duvet pince-nez kittly-benders spindrift
Name That Thing

10 quick questions: hear them, spell them, and see how your skills compare to the crowd.

TAKE THE QUIZ
SCRABBLE® Sprint

Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.

TAKE THE QUIZ