[ en-vee ]
/ ˈɛn vi /

noun, plural en·vies.

a feeling of discontent or covetousness with regard to another's advantages, success, possessions, etc.
an object of such feeling: Her intelligence made her the envy of her classmates.
Obsolete. ill will.

verb (used with object), en·vied, en·vy·ing.

to regard (a person or thing) with envy: She envies you for your success. I envy your writing ability. He envies her the position she has achieved in her profession.

verb (used without object), en·vied, en·vy·ing.

Obsolete. to be affected with envy.

Origin of 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


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.


en·vy·ing·ly, adverb un·en·vied, adjective un·en·vy·ing, adjective un·en·vy·ing·ly, adverb


envy jealousy (see synonym study at the current entry)

Example sentences from the Web for envy

British Dictionary definitions for envy

/ (ˈɛnvɪ) /

noun plural -vies

a feeling of grudging or somewhat admiring discontent aroused by the possessions, achievements, or qualities of another
the desire to have for oneself something possessed by another; covetousness
an object of envy

verb -vies, -vying or -vied

to be envious of (a person or thing)

Derived forms of envy

envier, noun envyingly, adverb

Word Origin for envy

C13: via Old French from Latin invidia, from invidēre to eye maliciously, from in- ² + vidēre to see

Idioms and Phrases with envy


see green with envy.