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

Despite getting an automatic red X from Hough's jealous fellow panelist Simon Cowell, Islam went on to share his goals in showbiz. Cydney Henderson, USA TODAY, "'AGT': Singer Luke Islam, 12, wins golden buzzer after bringing Julianne Hough to tears," 9 July 2019 When Nick wore the headphones, the host asked Kevin and Joe what Nick would say is the thing for which his siblings are most jealous of him. Nick Romano,, "Jonas Brothers play Jimmy Fallon's Know Your Bro game on The Tonight Show," 13 June 2019 Honestly, reigning summer whodunit Big Little Lies might get a little bit jealous of the telenovela adaptation. Ariana Romero,, "A Guide To Grand Hotel's Many Wild, Sexy, Muder-y Mysteries," 18 June 2019 The footguards, who had long been jealous of the prerogatives and insolence of the Praetorian cavalry, embraced the party of the people. Kevin D. Williamson, National Review, "Crowder Isn’t a Threat to Public Safety," 6 June 2019 Of course, one of those is an actual real love and one of them is onscreen romance/offscreen friendship, but the former is secure enough to never get jealous of the latter, which is good, considering Sophie's line of work. Marie Claire, "Sophie Turner Says She's "In Love" With Her 'X-Men' Costar Tye Sheridan and Joe Jonas Is Totally Okay With It," 30 Mar. 2019 Prepare to get very jealous of all the people who happened to be having a fun Friday night out at a certain bar New York City—because their nights went next level, thanks to the arrival of Jennifer Lawrence and Adele. Abby Gardner, Glamour, "Fans Think Adele Threw Jennifer Lawrence a Bachelorette Party, and It Looked So Fun," 23 Mar. 2019 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

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

13 Jul 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

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