envy

noun
en·​vy | \ ˈen-vē How to pronounce envy (audio) \
plural envies

Definition of envy

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1 : painful or resentful awareness of an advantage enjoyed by another joined with a desire to possess the same advantage
2 obsolete : malice
3 : an object of envious notice or feeling his new car made him the envy of his friends

envy

verb
envied; envying

Definition of envy (Entry 2 of 2)

transitive verb

1 : to feel envy toward or on account of
2 obsolete : begrudge

intransitive verb

obsolete : to feel or show envy

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Other Words from envy

Verb

envyingly \ ˈen-​vē-​iŋ-​lē How to pronounce envy (audio) \ adverb

Jealousy vs. Envy

Depending on who you ask, jealousy and envy are either exact synonyms, totally different words, or near-synonyms with some degree of semantic overlap and some differences. It is difficult to make the case, based on the evidence of usage that we have, for either of the first two possibilities. Both jealousy and envy are often used to indicate that a person is covetous of something that someone else has, but jealousy carries the particular sense of “zealous vigilance” and tends to be applied more exclusively to feelings of protectiveness regarding one’s own advantages or attachments. In the domain of romance, it is more commonly found than envy. If you were to say “your salt-shaker collection fills me with jealousy,” most people would take it to mean much the same thing as “your salt-shaker collection fills me with envy.” But if someone made a flirtatious comment to your partner, you would likely say that it caused you jealousy, not envy.

Examples of envy in a Sentence

Noun my envy of his success Their exotic vacations inspired envy in their friends. We watched with envy as the yacht slid past us. Verb I envy you for your large group of friends. I envy the way you've made so many friends.
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Recent Examples on the Web: Noun Once the envy of the world for its swift rollout, the U.S. has since been overtaken by more than 20 countries that now have better vaccine coverage, according to Bloomberg's COVID vaccine tracker. Tom Randall, Star Tribune, 16 July 2021 Kmart was my narcotized escape from the inscape of my then-still-bad body image, self-hatred, insecurities, delusions of grandeur, rage against anyone with money, and envy of those with any success. Jerry Saltz, Curbed, 13 July 2021 There is the potential issue of how endorsement contracts will play inside locker rooms, and whether deals would breed envy among teammates. Paul Myerberg, USA TODAY, 1 July 2021 Teressa Foglia makes one-off hats that stir envy from Malibu to Brooklyn. David Hochman, Forbes, 26 June 2021 Its campaign to rapidly inoculate the country against the ravages of COVID-19 was seen by some as the envy of the world. Sophie Mellor, Fortune, 14 June 2021 Some of us felt envy when others got vaccinated before us, others encountered anxiety as the restrictions that kept us safe for a year were slowly lifted. Deborah Netburn, Los Angeles Times, 14 June 2021 With more than 5,600 perfect ratings (and some envy-worthy pictures of them in action), Ubfen's Barefoot Water Shoes are a clear favorite among Amazon shoppers who've already started wearing them for all their outdoor water activities. Jayla Andrulonis, Travel + Leisure, 12 June 2021 In the late fifties, bankers began mailing out a fresh invention—the credit card—with tales of checkout-aisle convenience, envy-inspiring sophistication, and even women’s liberation. Charles Duhigg, The New Yorker, 31 May 2021 Recent Examples on the Web: Verb Those who envy tend to put up barriers to learning. Svetlana Whitener, Forbes, 7 July 2021 Whether Kim Jong Un of North Korea or Vladimir Putin of Russia, Trump has expressed respect -- and even envy -- for the way autocrats operate. Michael D'antonio, CNN, 7 July 2021 In a year of panic, envy any creature who estivates in the heat. Christina Olson, Scientific American, 16 June 2021 California is grappling with a problem other states might envy: handing out so much money can be a slow, bureaucratic process. New York Times, 21 June 2021 At 24 years old, Canadian producer Ebony Oshunrinde — better known as WondaGurl — has built a career most music-business veterans twice her age would envy. Ethan Millman, Rolling Stone, 15 June 2021 Always game to put on a show with the kind of entrance even Lady Gaga would envy, Cruella upstages the somewhat outmoded Baroness on the red carpet several times. Tomris Laffly, Vulture, 4 June 2021 How can someone with a career most people envy possible be so stressed? Sean Gregory, Time, 2 June 2021 His generosity, however, has created a dilemma for the Milton Hershey School that many charities would envy: too much money. Bob Fernandez, ProPublica, 29 May 2021

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'envy.' 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 envy

Noun

13th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Verb

14th century, in the meaning defined at transitive sense 1

History and Etymology for envy

Noun

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

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Time Traveler for envy

Time Traveler

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

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Dictionary Entries Near envy

envoy

envy

enweave

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Statistics for envy

Last Updated

19 Jul 2021

Cite this Entry

“Envy.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/envy. Accessed 30 Jul. 2021.

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More Definitions for envy

envy

noun

English Language Learners Definition of envy

 (Entry 1 of 2)

: the feeling of wanting to have what someone else has
: someone or something that causes envy

envy

verb

English Language Learners Definition of envy (Entry 2 of 2)

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

envy

noun
en·​vy | \ ˈen-vē How to pronounce envy (audio) \
plural envies

Kids Definition of envy

 (Entry 1 of 2)

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 : a person or a thing that is envied

envy

verb
envied; envying

Kids Definition of envy (Entry 2 of 2)

: 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.

More from Merriam-Webster on envy

Nglish: Translation of envy for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of envy for Arabic Speakers

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