[ jel-uhs ]
See synonyms for jealous on
  1. feeling resentment against someone because of that person's rivalry, success, or advantages (often followed by of): He was jealous of his rich brother.

  2. feeling resentment because of another's success, advantage, etc. (often followed by of): He was jealous of his brother's wealth.

  1. characterized by or proceeding from suspicious fears or envious resentment: a jealous rage; jealous intrigues.

  2. inclined to or troubled by suspicions or fears of rivalry, unfaithfulness, etc., as in love or aims: a jealous husband.

  3. solicitous or vigilant in maintaining or guarding something: The American people are jealous of their freedom.

  4. Bible. intolerant of unfaithfulness or rivalry: The Lord is a jealous God.

Origin of jealous

First recorded in 1175–1225; Middle English gelos, jelous, from Old French gelos (compare French jaloux ), from Vulgar Latin zēlōsus (unrecorded), from Late Latin zēl(us) zeal + -ōsus -ous

Other words from jealous

  • jeal·ous·ly, adverb
  • jeal·ous·ness, noun
  • o·ver·jeal·ous, adjective
  • o·ver·jeal·ous·ly, adverb
  • o·ver·jeal·ous·ness, noun
  • un·jeal·ous, adjective
  • un·jeal·ous·ly, adverb

Words that may be confused with jealous Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2024

British Dictionary definitions for jealous


/ (ˈdʒɛləs) /

  1. suspicious or fearful of being displaced by a rival: a jealous lover

  2. (often postpositive and foll by of) resentful (of) or vindictive (towards), esp through envy: a child jealous of his brother

  1. (often postpositive and foll by of) possessive and watchful in the maintenance or protection (of): jealous of one's reputation

  2. characterized by or resulting from jealousy

  3. obsolete, or biblical demanding exclusive loyalty: a jealous God

  4. an obsolete word for zealous

Origin of jealous

C13: from Old French gelos, from Medieval Latin zēlōsus, from Late Latin zēlus emulation, jealousy, from Greek zēlos zeal

Derived forms of jealous

  • jealously, adverb
  • jealousness, noun

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