Definition of envy in English:


Line breaks: envy
Pronunciation: /ˈɛnvi

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; the green-eyed monster
  • 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  



More 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’).


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'.

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