Get the details behind our redesign


[jel-uh s] /ˈdʒɛl əs/
feeling resentment against someone because of that person's rivalry, success, or advantages (often followed by of):
He was jealous of his rich brother.
feeling resentment because of another's success, advantage, etc. (often followed by of):
He was jealous of his brother's wealth.
characterized by or proceeding from suspicious fears or envious resentment:
a jealous rage; jealous intrigues.
inclined to or troubled by suspicions or fears of rivalry, unfaithfulness, etc., as in love or aims:
a jealous husband.
solicitous or vigilant in maintaining or guarding something:
The American people are jealous of their freedom.
Bible. intolerant of unfaithfulness or rivalry:
The Lord is a jealous God.
1175-1225; Middle English jelous, gelos < Old French gelos (French jaloux) < Vulgar Latin *zēlōsus, equivalent to Late Latin zēl(us) zeal + ōsus -ose1
Related forms
jealously, adverb
jealousness, noun
overjealous, adjective
overjealously, adverb
overjealousness, noun
unjealous, adjective
unjealously, adverb
Can be confused
enviable, envious, jealous. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
Cite This Source
Examples for jealous
  • I'm jealous of the men in saddles, with their big hats and boots.
  • Framed by a jealous poodle, a show dog dachshund endures life on the streets.
  • People can be very jealous of someone driving a car that they love.
  • She was jealous not of any particular woman but of the decrease of his love.
  • My husband has just taken up running, and I'm jealous of him, too.
  • Women went out of their senses over him; men called him a coxcomb, and were secretly jealous of him.
  • I'm not jealous, but I'm unsatisfied.
  • Other girls were jealous of their friendships.
  • Have a great time! I'm massively jealous.
  • He's the actor that all actors are jealous of.
British Dictionary definitions for jealous


suspicious or fearful of being displaced by a rival a jealous lover
often postpositive and foll by of. resentful (of) or vindictive (towards), esp through envy a child jealous of his brother
often postpositive and foll by of. possessive and watchful in the maintenance or protection (of) jealous of one's reputation
characterized by or resulting from jealousy
(obsolete or biblical) demanding exclusive loyalty a jealous God
an obsolete word for zealous
Derived Forms
jealously, adverb
jealousness, noun
Word Origin
C13: from Old French gelos, from Medieval Latin zēlōsus, from Late Latin zēlus emulation, jealousy, from Greek zēloszeal
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
Cite This Source
Word Origin and History for jealous
early 13c., from O.Fr. gelos (12c., Fr. jaloux), from L.L. zelosus, from zelus "zeal," from Gk. zelos, sometimes "jealousy," but more often in a good sense ("emulation, rivalry, zeal"). See zeal. Among the ways to express this are Swed. svartsjuka, lit. "black-sick," from phrase bara svarta strumpor "wear black stockings," also "be jealous." Dan. skinsyg "jealous," lit. "skin-sick," is from skind "hide, skin" said to be explained by Swed. dial. expression fa skinn "receive a refusal in courtship."
"Most of the words for 'envy' ... had from the outset a hostile force, based on 'look at' (with malice), 'not love,' etc. Conversely, most of those which became distinctive terms for 'jealousy' were originally used also in a good sense, 'zeal, emulation.' " [Buck, pp.1138-9]
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
Cite This Source

Word of The Day

Difficulty index for jealous

Most English speakers likely know this word

Word Value for jealous

Scrabble Words With Friends

Quotes with jealous