en·​vi·​ous | \ ˈen-vē-əs How to pronounce envious (audio) \

Definition of envious

1 : feeling or showing envy envious of their neighbor's new car envious looks

2 archaic

a : emulous
b : enviable

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Other Words from envious

enviously adverb
enviousness noun

Synonyms & Antonyms for envious


covetous, green-eyed, invidious, jaundiced, jealous, resentful



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Examples of envious in a Sentence

a family that is envious of their neighbors' big house

Recent Examples on the Web

In terms of making the character his own, Chiwetel Ejiofor stands out by sinking his teeth into Scar, the envious lion who betrays his brother, Mufasa (James Earl Jones, reprising his role), and chases Simba away in order to steal his throne. Brian Lowry, CNN, "'The Lion King' hits familiar notes in adapting Disney classic," 11 July 2019 These moments, including their impromptu dance party in London, aren’t the first or only times we’ve been made to feel envious of their wonderful relationship. Clarkisha Kent, EW.com, "All the times Lupita Nyong’o and Janelle Monáe’s friendship made us incredibly jealous," 4 July 2019 One of the themes that recurs in her poetry is longing — not a longing that is negative or envious, just a reach toward something ineffable in the human heart. courant.com, "Social justice, longing reflected in the spare poems of Davyne Verstandig," 20 June 2019 In fact, our envious feelings ramp up as someone else’s fortunate occasion gets closer—and plummet once the event is over. Susan Pinker, WSJ, "The Worst Form of Envy? In the Future Tense," 14 June 2019 Any anthology is going to yield somewhat uneven results, but Brooker's hitting percentage has been pretty envious. Brian Lowry, CNN, "'Black Mirror' reflects uneven nature in Anthony Mackie and Miley Cyrus episodes," 5 June 2019 Newton's gorgeous curls were pulled into a low ponytail, perhaps in an effort to leave the spotlight to her daughter, whose beautiful, middle-parted curls are making me mighty envious. Leah Prinzivalli, Allure, "Thandie Newton and Her 14-Year-Old Daughter Nico Parker Basically Look Like Twins," 12 Mar. 2019 But in addition to their many positive traits, they're also perceived as less bold, less talkative, and more envious than their older and younger siblings, according to a Stanford study cited in Schumann's book. Charlotte Hilton Andersen, Redbook, "Is The Middle Child Syndrome a Myth or Do Parents Need To Take It Seriously?," 7 Aug. 2017 The singer escaped the rainy West Coast to celebrate her best friend's bachelorette party this week and returned to Los Angles with a seriously envious, just-back-from-vacation glow. Jenna Rennert, Vogue, "Selena Gomez Steps Out With a Just-Back-From-Vacation Glow in Los Angeles," 14 Feb. 2019

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'envious.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of envious

13th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

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Dictionary Entries near envious

Enver Paşa







Statistics for envious

Last Updated

24 Jul 2019

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Time Traveler for envious

The first known use of envious was in the 13th century

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English Language Learners Definition of envious

: feeling or showing a desire to have what someone else has : feeling or showing envy


en·​vi·​ous | \ ˈen-vē-əs How to pronounce envious (audio) \

Kids Definition of envious

: feeling or showing unhappiness over someone else's good fortune and a desire to have the same

Other Words from envious

enviously adverb

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More from Merriam-Webster on envious

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for envious

Spanish Central: Translation of envious

Nglish: Translation of envious for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of envious for Arabic Speakers

Comments on envious

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


a period when something is suspended

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