jeal·ous | \ ˈje-ləs \

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 & Antonyms for jealous


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



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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

He is played by 15-year-old actor Montana Jordan, and his character arcs often revolve around him causing trouble and feeling jealous of his genius little brother. Jamie Ballard, Good Housekeeping, ""The Big Bang Theory" Season Finale: All the Things We Know So Far," 17 Apr. 2018 Even so, many people assume that poly folks are above feeling jealous. Tara Struyk, Glamour, "7 Polyamory Myths It's Time to Stop Believing," 1 Feb. 2018 Maybe Justin is a jealous guy and doesn't feel comfortable seeing another dude on Hailey's feed? Victoria Rodriguez, Seventeen, "OMG! Hailey Baldwin Deleted Every Instagram Photo with Shawn Mendes," 27 June 2018 Kevin's a suspect because of the mysterious phone calls Betty keeps getting and the jealous nature of the Black Hood's requests. Amy Mackelden, Harper's BAZAAR, "The Mystery of the Riverdale Black Hood Keeps Getting More Confusing," 22 Apr. 2018 Must make our northern neighbors who are currently dealing with a winter that refuses to end pretty jealous. Chuck Blount, San Antonio Express-News, "Your guide to getting ready for grilling season," 9 Apr. 2018 Giroud is known for being a little jealous of fellow strikers, having snubbed Alexandre Lacazette during a goal celebration back at Arsenal after the forward joined from Lyon last summer., "VIDEO: Kylian Mbappe Sparks Rant From Olivier Giroud During Interview With French Reporters," 29 Mar. 2018 Adding to the drama, a former co-worker at the Cardinals hacked Astro accounts and leaked almost a year’s worth of company transcripts, jealous because of the attention the team was receiving. Matthew Wilson, USA TODAY, "'Astroball': How the Houston Astros climbed from baseball's basement to champions," 13 July 2018 Noted helicopter enthusiast Prince George is probably pretty jealous of his Gan Gan right about now. Caroline Hallemann, Town & Country, "Queen Elizabeth Just Visited Her New Great-Grandson, Prince Louis," 2 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

7 Sep 2018

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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


jeal·ous | \ ˈje-ləs \

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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Comments on jealous

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