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enviable

[ en-vee-uh-buhl ]
/ ˈɛn vi ə bəl /
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adjective

worthy of envy; very desirable: an enviable position.

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Origin of enviable

First recorded in 1595–1605; envy + -able

OTHER WORDS FROM enviable

WORDS THAT MAY BE CONFUSED WITH enviable

enviable , envious, jealous
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2021

VOCAB BUILDER

What does enviable mean?

Enviable means very desirable. It’s especially used to describe things that a person has and that other people want—or a person that other people want to be like.

In other words, enviable means worthy of or likely to cause envy—a feeling of desire for something that someone else has and you do not. Envy is also a verb meaning to have feelings of envy toward someone, and enviable is formed from this verb.

Envy is not a good feeling—it can be described as a mix of admiration and discontent. Enviable is often used to describe things that are so good that other people will naturally want them (and might even get a little envious or jealous).

The opposite of enviable is unenviable, which is typically used to describe tasks or positions that no one wants, as in He was given the unenviable task of making sure everyone paid on time. 

Example: It’s an enviable position, with a lot of perks, so naturally we have many applicants.

Where does enviable come from?

The first records of the word enviable come from around 1600. Its base word, envy, comes from the Latin invidia, a derivative of the Latin verb invidēre, meaning “to envy” or, more poetically, “to eye maliciously.”

Something that’s enviable, such as a person’s qualities or possessions, is something that others are eyeing, especially when they are better or more plentiful. Success is enviable. Wealth is enviable. Good hair is enviable. Having something or being in a position that’s enviable means that other people will want what you have.

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What are some other forms related to enviable?

  • enviably (adverb)
  • unenviable (adjective)
  • unenviably (adverb)
  • envy (noun)

What are some synonyms for enviable?

What are some words that share a root or word element with enviable

What are some words that often get used in discussing enviable?

How is enviable used in real life?

Enviable is commonly used to describe desirable tasks, positions, or personal qualities.

 

 

Try using enviable!

Is enviable used correctly in the following sentence?

Her considerable skill is enviable for anyone who even dabbles in music.

Example sentences from the Web for enviable

British Dictionary definitions for enviable

enviable
/ (ˈɛnvɪəbəl) /

adjective

exciting envy; fortunate or privileged

Derived forms of enviable

enviableness, nounenviably, adverb
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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