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Line breaks: envy
Pronunciation: /ˈɛnvi

Definition of envy in English:

noun (plural envies)

[mass noun]
1A feeling of discontented or resentful longing aroused by someone else’s possessions, qualities, or luck: she felt a twinge of envy for the people on board
More example sentences
  • Full of self-doubt and lack of true self-esteem, the hero's emotions express themselves in extravagant, paranoid projections, envies and resentments - most of which he foists onto his indirect or mediated rival.
  • ‘I may have a lot of bad qualities like jealousy, envy and anger, but it takes a long time for anyone to really irk me,’ says the actor.
  • Love cancels resentment, envy and jealousy and replaces them with kindness, forbearance and cordiality.
jealousy, enviousness, covetousness, desire;
resentment, resentfulness, bitterness, discontent, spite;
1.1 (the envy of) A person or thing that inspires envy: France has a film industry that is the envy of Europe
More example sentences
  • If everywhere can become as good, our health service will be the envy of the world.
  • Yet politicians of all parties like to pretend that there is a quick-fix solution that will miraculously transform the service into the envy of the world.
  • We were even allowed to take time off school to visit air stations, an unexpected perk that made us the envy of classmates who thought we were all uniformed ponces.
object/source of envy;
best, finest, pride, top, cream, pick, choice, elite, prize, jewel, jewel in the crown, flower, paragon, leading light, glory, the crème de la crème

verb (envies, envying, envied)

[with object] Back to top  
1Desire to have a quality, possession, or other desirable thing belonging to (someone else): he envied people who did not have to work at the weekends [with two objects]: I envy Jane her happiness
More example sentences
  • She imagined her home even lovelier than it was now, and she imagined everyone admiring her, envying her, wishing they, too, had such a gift.
  • You must mark out your territory as an artist, so that others learn to envy you and aspire to what you are doing.
  • Borges' characters can similarly be said to envy women their desire that they cannot understand and do not dare explore.
be envious of, be jealous of;
begrudge, grudge, be resentful of
1.1Desire for oneself (something belonging to another): a lifestyle which most of us would envy
covet, be covetous of;
desire, aspire to, wish for, want, long for, yearn for, hanker after/for, be consumed with desire for, crave, have one's heart set on


Middle English (also in the sense 'hostility, enmity'): from Old French envie (noun), envier (verb), from Latin invidia, from invidere 'regard maliciously, grudge', from in- 'into' + videre 'to see'.



Example sentences
  • This is what makes enviers lethal: A jealous person wants what you have.
  • It is agreed that envy involves an envier, a party who is envied - this may be a person or group of persons - and some possession, capacity or trait that the subject supposes the rival to have (the ‘good’).

Definition of envy in:

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