[en-vee] /ˈɛn vi/
noun, plural envies.
a feeling of discontent or covetousness with regard to another's advantages, success, possessions, etc.
an object of envious feeling:
"Her intelligence made her the envy of her classmates."
Obsolete. ill will.
verb (used with object), envied, envying.
to regard with envy; be envious of:
"He envies her the position she has achieved in her profession."
verb (used without object), envied, envying.
Obsolete. to be affected with envy.
1250–1300; (noun) Middle English envie < Old French < Latin invidia, equivalent to invid(us) envious (derivative of invidēre to envy; see invidious) + -ia -y3; (v.) Middle English envien < Old French envier < Medieval Latin invidiāre, derivative of Latin invidia
Related forms
envyingly, adverb
unenvied, adjective
unenvying, adjective
unenvyingly, adverb
Can be confused
envy, jealousy (see synonym study at the current entry)
1. enviousness. 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 unfaithfulness. 4. resent. Envy, begrudge, covet refer to one's attitude toward the possessions or attainments of others. To envy is to feel resentful and unhappy because someone else possesses, or has achieved, what one wishes oneself to possess, or to have achieved: to envy the wealthy, a woman's beauty, an honest man's reputation. To begrudge is to be unwilling that another should have the possessions, honors, or credit that person deserves: to begrudge a man a reward for heroism. To covet is to long jealously to possess what someone else possesses: I covet your silverware.
Example Sentences for envy
They are green with envy.
Their favorite trip is to a neighborhood soft drink stand, and they are the envy of their friends.
People enjoy their jobs for different reasons, but there's something about these dream jobs that we all envy.
It is the kind of discussion that lends credence to argument, and assault, based in anxiety and envy.
The tensions between the sisters, who envy each other's lives, escalate over a nine-month period.
Modern technology makes long-distance relationships viable in ways previous generations can only envy.
Many of the entries focus on writers and the theme of literary envy.
He is the envy of all the other chimps in the rain forest.
Stop letting greed and envy drive policy.
The American university system is the envy of the world.
British Dictionary definitions for envy
envy (ˈɛnvɪ)
n , pl -vies
1.  a feeling of grudging or somewhat admiring discontent aroused by the possessions, achievements, or qualities of another
2.  the desire to have for oneself something possessed by another; covetousness
3.  an object of envy
vb , -vies, -vies, -vying, -vied
4.  to be envious of (a person or thing)
[C13: via Old French from Latin invidia, from invidēre to eye maliciously, from in-² + vidēre to see]

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 10th Edition
2009 © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
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Word Origin and History for envy
late 13c., from O.Fr. envie, from L. invidia "envy, jealousy," from invidus "envious," from invidere "envy," earlier "look at (with malice), cast an evil eye upon," from in- "upon" + videre "to see" (see vision). Similar formations in Avestan nipashnaka "envious," also "look at;" O.C.S. zavideti "to envy," from videti "to see;" Lith. pavydeti "to envy," related to veizdeti "to see, to look at."
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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Idioms and Phrases with envy


see green with envy.

The American Heritage® Dictionary of Idioms by Christine Ammer.
Copyright © 1997. Published by Houghton Mifflin.
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