Other forms: envied; envying; envies

Wanting what someone else has and resenting them for having it is envy. If your best friend comes to school with the silver backpack you’d had your eye on all summer, you want to be happy for her, instead you feel bitter envy.

Envy comes from the Latin word invidere, which literally means “look upon.” You know when you say something funny or smart and someone gives you the evil eye? Envy all the way. Envy can be used as a noun or as a verb: Envy (noun) is the feeling you have when you envy (verb) what someone else has.

Definitions of envy
  1. noun
    a feeling of grudging admiration and desire to have something that is possessed by another
    synonyms: enviousness
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    an envious eagerness to possess something
    green-eyed monster, jealousy
    a feeling of jealous envy (especially of a rival)
    penis envy
    (psychoanalysis) a female's presumed envy of the male's penis; said to explain femininity
    type of:
    bitterness, gall, rancor, rancour, resentment
    a feeling of deep and bitter anger and ill-will
  2. noun
    spite and resentment at seeing the success of another (personified as one of the deadly sins)
    synonyms: invidia
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    type of:
    deadly sin, mortal sin
    an unpardonable sin entailing a total loss of grace
  3. verb
    feel envious towards; admire enviously
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    type of:
    admire, look up to
    feel admiration for
  4. verb
    be envious of; set one's heart on
    synonyms: begrudge
    see moresee less
    wish, long, or crave for (something, especially the property of another person)
    drool, salivate
    be envious, desirous, eager for, or extremely happy about something
    type of:
    desire, want
    feel or have a desire for; want strongly




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DISCLAIMER: These example sentences appear in various news sources and books to reflect the usage of the word ‘envy'. Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of or its editors. Send us feedback
Commonly confused words

envy / jealousy

It’s no fun to feel envy or jealousy because both make you feel inadequate. Envy is when you want what someone else has, but jealousy is when you’re worried someone’s trying to take what you have. If you want your neighbor’s new convertible, you feel envy. If she takes your husband for a ride, you feel jealousy.

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