Definitions for envyˈɛn vi

This page provides all possible meanings and translations of the word envy

Random House Webster's College Dictionary

en•vy*ˈɛn vi(n.)(pl.)-vies

  1. (n.)a feeling of resentful discontent, begrudging admiration, or covetousness with regard to another's advantages, possessions, or attainments; desire for something possessed by another.

  2. an object of envious feeling:

    She was the envy of all her classmates.

  3. Obs. ill will.

  4. (v.t.)to regard with envy; be envious of.

  5. (v.i.)Obs. to be affected with envy.

* Syn: 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 losing someone or something to a rival: a husband's jealousy of other men.

Origin of envy:

1250–1300; ME < OF < L invidia <invid(us) envious (der. of invidēre to envy; see invidious )


Princeton's WordNet

  1. envy, enviousness(noun)

    a feeling of grudging admiration and desire to have something that is possessed by another

  2. envy, invidia(verb)

    spite and resentment at seeing the success of another (personified as one of the deadly sins)

  3. envy(verb)

    feel envious towards; admire enviously

  4. envy, begrudge(verb)

    be envious of; set one's heart on

Kernerman English Learner's Dictionary

  1. envy(verb)ˈɛn vi

    to feel strongly that you want what sb else has

    I envy you.; She envied her sister's ability to make friends easily.; I envied him his new job.

  2. envyˈɛn vi

    indicates that you are glad you do not have to do what sb else has to do

    I don't envy you having to do all that work.

  3. envy(noun)ˈɛn vi

    the feeling of envying sb

    I was filled with envy at her good luck.; his envy of his friend

  4. envyˈɛn vi

    feeling a lot of envy

  5. envyˈɛn vi

    to be sth that is admired or envied by others

    His new car was the envy of all their friends.


  1. envy(Noun)

    Resentful desire of something possessed by another or others (but not limited to material possessions).

  2. envy(Noun)

    Hatred, enmity, ill-feeling.

  3. envy(Verb)

    To feel displeasure or hatred towards (someone) for their good fortune or possessions.

  4. envy(Verb)

    To have envious feelings (at).

  5. envy(Verb)

    To give (something) to (someone) grudgingly or reluctantly; to begrudge.

  6. envy(Verb)

    To show malice or ill will; to rail.

    He has envied against the people. uE00096354uE001 Shakespeare.

  7. Origin: From envie, from envie, from invidia, from invidere from in + videre ("on, upon" + "to look, see"). Displaced native ande (from anda), nith (from niþ).

Webster Dictionary

  1. Envy(noun)

    malice; ill will; spite

  2. Envy(noun)

    chagrin, mortification, discontent, or uneasiness at the sight of another's excellence or good fortune, accompanied with some degree of hatred and a desire to possess equal advantages; malicious grudging; -- usually followed by of; as, they did this in envy of Caesar

  3. Envy(noun)

    emulation; rivalry

  4. Envy(noun)

    public odium; ill repute

  5. Envy(noun)

    an object of envious notice or feeling

  6. Envy(verb)

    to feel envy at or towards; to be envious of; to have a feeling of uneasiness or mortification in regard to (any one), arising from the sight of another's excellence or good fortune and a longing to possess it

  7. Envy(verb)

    to feel envy on account of; to have a feeling of grief or repining, with a longing to possess (some excellence or good fortune of another, or an equal good fortune, etc.); to look with grudging upon; to begrudge

  8. Envy(verb)

    to long after; to desire strongly; to covet

  9. Envy(verb)

    to do harm to; to injure; to disparage

  10. Envy(verb)

    to hate

  11. Envy(verb)

    to emulate

  12. Envy(verb)

    to be filled with envious feelings; to regard anything with grudging and longing eyes; -- used especially with at

  13. Envy(verb)

    to show malice or ill will; to rail


  1. Envy

    Envy is a resentment which "occurs when a person lacks another's superior quality, achievement or possession and wishes that the other lacked it." Bertrand Russell said that envy was one of the most potent causes of unhappiness. Not only is the envious person rendered unhappy by his envy, but they also wish to inflict misfortune on others. Although envy is generally seen as something negative, Russell also believed that envy was a driving force behind the movement towards democracy and must be endured to achieve a more just social system. However, psychologists have recently suggested that there may be two types of envy: malicious envy and benign envy - benign envy being proposed as a type of positive motivational force.

Translations for envy

Kernerman English Multilingual Dictionary


to feel envy towards (someone)

He envied me; She envied him his money.

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