noun jeal·ou·sy \ ˈje-lə-sē \
|Updated on: 14 Jul 2018

Definition of jealousy

plural jealousies
1 : a jealous disposition, attitude, or feeling
  • a marriage destroyed by jealousy
  • petty jealousies
2 : zealous vigilance
  • cherish their official political freedom with fierce jealousy
  • —Paul Blanshard

Examples of jealousy in a Sentence

  1. petty jealousies among political rivals

  2. a marriage ruined by infidelity and jealousy

  3. He was driven crazy with jealousy.

  4. He was unable to control his jealousies.

Recent Examples of jealousy from the Web

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

JEALOUSY Defined for English Language Learners


Definition of jealousy for English Language Learners

  • : an unhappy or angry feeling of wanting to have what someone else has

  • : an unhappy or angry feeling caused by the belief that someone you love (such as your husband or wife) likes or is liked by someone else

JEALOUSY Defined for Kids


noun jeal·ou·sy \ ˈje-lə-sē \

Definition of jealousy for Students

plural jealousies
1 : a feeling of unhappiness and anger caused by a belief that a loved one might be unfaithful
2 : a feeling of unhappiness caused by wanting what someone else has

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to beat or defeat soundly

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