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envy

[en-vee]
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noun, plural en·vies.
  1. a feeling of discontent or covetousness with regard to another's advantages, success, possessions, etc.
  2. an object of such feeling: Her intelligence made her the envy of her classmates.
  3. Obsolete. ill will.
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verb (used with object), en·vied, en·vy·ing.
  1. 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.
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verb (used without object), en·vied, en·vy·ing.
  1. Obsolete. to be affected with envy.
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Origin of envy

1250–1300; (noun) Middle English envie < Old French < Latin invidia, equivalent to invid(us) envious (derivative of invidēre to envy; see invidious) + -ia -y3; (v.) Middle English envien < Old French envier < Medieval Latin invidiāre, derivative of Latin invidia
Related formsen·vy·ing·ly, adverbun·en·vied, adjectiveun·en·vy·ing, adjectiveun·en·vy·ing·ly, adverb
Can be confusedenvy jealousy (see synonym study at the current entry)

Synonyms

See more synonyms for envy on Thesaurus.com
1. enviousness. Envy and jealousy are very close in meaning. Envy denotes a longing to possess something awarded to or achieved by another: to feel envy when a friend inherits a fortune. Jealousy, on the other hand, denotes a feeling of resentment that another has gained something that one more rightfully deserves: to feel jealousy when a coworker receives a promotion. Jealousy also refers to anguish caused by fear of unfaithfulness. 4. resent. Envy, begrudge, covet refer to one's attitude toward the possessions or attainments of others. To envy is to feel resentful and unhappy because someone else possesses, or has achieved, what one wishes oneself to possess, or to have achieved: to envy the wealthy, a woman's beauty, an honest man's reputation. To begrudge is to be unwilling that another should have the possessions, honors, or credit that person deserves: to begrudge a man a reward for heroism. To covet is to long jealously to possess what someone else possesses: I covet your silverware.
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Examples from the Web for envy

Contemporary Examples

Historical Examples

  • He wears the look of one who is gnawed with envy, and he heaves the sigh of despair.

    The Spenders

    Harry Leon Wilson

  • At times we are as much the object of their envy as they ever are of ours.

  • There was a pride in the statement with regard to which my first feeling was a pang of envy.

  • She was gowned, too, with a chic nicety to arouse the envy of all less-fortunate women.

    Within the Law

    Marvin Dana

  • Deep in his heart was a gnawing of envy—not for himself, but for his work.

    K

    Mary Roberts Rinehart


British Dictionary definitions for envy

envy

noun plural -vies
  1. a feeling of grudging or somewhat admiring discontent aroused by the possessions, achievements, or qualities of another
  2. the desire to have for oneself something possessed by another; covetousness
  3. an object of envy
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verb -vies, -vying or -vied
  1. to be envious of (a person or thing)
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Derived Formsenvier, nounenvyingly, adverb

Word Origin

C13: via Old French from Latin invidia, from invidēre to eye maliciously, from in- ² + vidēre to see
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

Word Origin and History for envy

n.

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."

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v.

late 14c., from Old French envier, from envie (see envy (n.)). Related: Envied; envying.

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

Idioms and Phrases with envy

envy

see green with envy.

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The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company.