[ en-vee-uhs ]
/ ˈɛn vi əs /


full of, feeling, or expressing envy: envious of a person's success; an envious attack.
  1. emulous.
  2. enviable.



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Origin of envious

1250–1300; Middle English <Anglo-French; Old French envieus<Latin invidiōsusinvidious



enviable, envious , jealous.
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2020


What does envious mean?

Envious means feeling, full of, or expressing envy—a mostly negative feeling of desire for something that someone else has and you do not.

Envy is not a good feeling—it can be described as a mix of admiration and discontent. But it’s not necessarily malicious. Envious is very similar in meaning to jealous. However, jealous usually implies a deeper resentment, perhaps because you feel that you deserve the thing more than the other person, or that it is unfair that they have it.

Envious is often followed by the word of and the person or thing that’s the object of envy, as in I must admit that I’m envious of her talent. 

Example: Other people’s perfectly curated social media feeds often cause us to feel envious, but we need to keep in mind that they don’t show the whole story of what someone’s life is like—only the highlights.

Where does envious come from?

The first records of the word envious come from the 1200s. It comes from the Latin invidia and ultimately derives from the Latin verb invidēre, meaning “to envy” or, more poetically, “to eye maliciously.”

Being envious often involves eyeing other people’s qualities or possessions, especially when they are better or more plentiful than the ones you have. Envy is one of the so-called seven deadly sins and has long been considered one of the vices that can lead people to do bad things. Still, most people are thought to be envious at one time or another. Enviousness can lead to bitterness, but it doesn’t have to. You can be envious of your friend’s success and still be happy for them. When you stop being happy for them and start to resent them for it, that’s being jealous.

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What are some other forms related to envious?

  • enviousness (noun)
  • enviously (adverb)
  • envy (noun)

What are some synonyms for envious?

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

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

What are some words envious may be commonly confused with?

How is envious used in real life?

Most people feel envious occasionally, but they usually only admit it when it’s not so serious.



Try using envious!

Is envious used correctly in the following sentence?

All the other interns were envious of me because I was the only one who got my own desk.

Example sentences from the Web for envious

British Dictionary definitions for envious

/ (ˈɛnvɪəs) /


feeling, showing, or resulting from envy

Derived forms of envious

enviously, adverbenviousness, noun

Word Origin for envious

C13: from Anglo-Norman, ultimately from Latin invidiōsus full of envy, invidious; see envy
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