- a feeling of discontent or covetousness with regard to another's advantages, success, possessions, etc.
- an object of such feeling: Her intelligence made her the envy of her classmates.
- Obsolete. ill will.
- to regard (a person or thing) with envy: She envies you for your success. I envy your writing ability. He envies her the position she has achieved in her profession.
- Obsolete. to be affected with envy.
Origin of envy
Synonyms for envy
- a feeling of grudging or somewhat admiring discontent aroused by the possessions, achievements, or qualities of another
- the desire to have for oneself something possessed by another; covetousness
- an object of envy
- to be envious of (a person or thing)
Word Origin for envy
late 14c., from Old French envier, from envie (see envy (n.)). Related: Envied; envying.
late 13c., from Old French envie "envy, jealousy, rivalry" (10c.), from Latin invidia "envy, jealousy," from invidus "envious," from invidere "envy," earlier "look at (with malice), cast an evil eye upon," from in- "upon" (see in- (2)) + videre "to see" (see vision).
Similar formations in Avestan nipashnaka "envious," also "look at;" Old Church Slavonic zavideti "to envy," from videti "to see;" Lithuanian pavydeti "to envy," related to veizdeti "to see, to look at."
see green with envy.