1

envy

play
noun en·vy \ˈen-vē\

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 in a Sentence

  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.

Recent Examples of envy from the Web

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.

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.

Origin and Etymology 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


2

envy

verb en·vy

Definition of envy

envied

;

envying

  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

envyingly

play \ˈen-vē-iŋ-lē\ adverb

Examples of envy in a Sentence

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

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

Recent Examples of envy from the Web

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.

First Known Use of envy

14th century



ENVY Defined for English Language Learners

envy

play
noun

Definition of envy for English Language Learners

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

  • : someone or something that causes envy

envy

verb

Definition of envy for English Language Learners

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


ENVY Defined for Kids

1

envy

play
noun en·vy \ˈen-vē\

Definition of envy for Students

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 for Students

envied

;

envying

  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.



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