jeal·​ous | \ ˈje-ləs How to pronounce jealous (audio) \

Definition of jealous

1 : hostile toward a rival or one believed to enjoy an advantage : envious His success made his old friends jealous. They were jealous of his success.
2a : intolerant of rivalry or unfaithfulness jealous of the slightest interference in household management— Havelock Ellis
b : disposed to suspect rivalry or unfaithfulness a jealous husband
3 : vigilant in guarding a possession new colonies were jealous of their new independence— Scott Buchanan

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Other Words from jealous

jealously adverb
jealousness noun

Synonyms for jealous



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Zealous vs. Jealous

Zealous and jealous share not just a rhyme, but an etymology. Both words ultimately come from the Latin zelus “jealousy,” and in the past their meanings were somewhat closer to each other than they are today. In the 16th and 17th centuries, zealous occasionally was used in biblical writing to refer to a quality of apprehensiveness or jealousy of another. By the 18th century, however, it had completely diverged in meaning from jealous, signifying “warmly engaged or ardent on behalf of someone or something.” Today, zealous often carries a connotation of excessive feeling: it typically means “fiercely partisan” or “uncompromisingly enthusiastic.”

Examples of jealous in a Sentence

His success has made some of his old friends jealous. She became very jealous whenever he talked to other women. He was in a jealous rage.
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Recent Examples on the Web

Your partner is violently and constantly jealous of you. Serena O'sullivan, azcentral, "Arizona chapter of Moms Demand Action helps domestic-violence victims," 8 June 2019 During four days of testimony, prosecutors characterized Delgado as a jealous ex-girlfriend who was intent on harming Hatcher. Lavendrick Smith, Dallas News, "Both sides rest in trial of Brenda Delgado, the woman accused of plotting Dallas dentist's slaying," 6 June 2019 Executives explained that unique perk to Devlin when wooing him, and as Toronto vanquished its Eastern foes, Devlin passed it on to his Philadelphia and Milwaukee peers, who had to be equal parts surprised and jealous. Jacob Feldman,, "During Toronto's Run, Raptors' Voice Matt Devlin Has Represented an Entire Country," 6 June 2019 The iPad’s purpose wasn’t solely entertainment or an internet connection, as the free high-speed Wifi allowed me to stay connected with jealous friends back in New York. Kaitlin Menza, Town & Country, "Switzerland's Most Beautiful Train Line, the Glacier Express, Has a New Luxury Car," 29 May 2019 Perhaps the sergeant is definitely a little jealous? Jennifer Aldrich, Country Living, "'Blue Bloods' Reveals Jamie Is Not Happy With Eddie for the Strangest Reason," 5 Apr. 2019 Alfredo had run away from home after his father, a ranch hand, had slashed his mother’s arms and belly with a machete in a jealous rage. Robbie Whelan, WSJ, "Mexico’s New Focus to Stem Violent Culture: Children," 26 Jan. 2019 And don't think Lana's jealous of her costar's success. Carolyn Twersky, Seventeen, "Lana Condor's Fans Think She Should Be Getting as Many Opportunities as Noah Centineo," 3 Oct. 2018 Playing like a sidekick again Love has been James' sidekick by default since Kyrie Irving had his jealous snit and split. Bill Livingston,, "Cleveland Cavaliers 2018: Kevin Love's all-around play, LeBron James' game-winner save Game 3 -- Bill Livingston (photos)," 6 May 2018

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

13th century, in the meaning defined at sense 2a

History and Etymology for jealous

Middle English jelous, from Anglo-French gelus, from Vulgar Latin *zelosus, from Late Latin zelus zeal — more at zeal

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Statistics for jealous

Last Updated

15 Jun 2019

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Time Traveler for jealous

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

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More Definitions for jealous



English Language Learners Definition of jealous

: feeling or showing an unhappy or angry desire to have what someone else has
: feeling or showing unhappiness or anger because you think that someone you love (such as your husband or wife) likes or is liked by someone else
somewhat formal : very concerned about protecting or keeping something


jeal·​ous | \ ˈje-ləs How to pronounce jealous (audio) \

Kids Definition of jealous

1 : feeling anger because of the belief that a loved one might be unfaithful a jealous husband
2 : feeling a mean anger toward someone because he or she is more successful
3 : careful sense 1, watchful We are jealous of our rights.

Other Words from jealous

jealously adverb

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More from Merriam-Webster on jealous

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with jealous

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for jealous

Spanish Central: Translation of jealous

Nglish: Translation of jealous for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of jealous for Arabic Speakers

Comments on jealous

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


to take the place or position of

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