Definition of envy in US English:

envy

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’
    • ‘They were all consumed by envy now on top of the original dislike.’
    • ‘I have to say that no process is good enough to be free from the pressures, the envies, and the hatreds to which any human being can be prey.’
    • ‘Consumed by class envy and full of malice, they piled on as soon as they got the news.’
    • ‘In other times and places blood feuds or class envy might explain this level of suspicion.’
    • ‘I venture to suggest their preference wouldn't bear too much scrutiny or arouse too much envy.’
    • ‘‘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.’
    • ‘My answer is no, I'm not motivated by envy.’
    • ‘He at once covets and scorns material comforts - and both envies and despises those who enjoy them.’
    • ‘I know I should be mature and sensible and rise above any feelings of petty envy.’
    • ‘But I hated myself for letting envy consume me like this.’
    • ‘Love cancels resentment, envy and jealousy and replaces them with kindness, forbearance and cordiality.’
    • ‘"That does sound like it was fun, " she answered, smiling with a little envy.’
    • ‘But it may just be that this vision has in fact been their focus and it has aroused petty jealousy and envy.’
    • ‘Output will continue to grow at about the rich world average, and we live in the green and pleasant land we have today, which much of the world envies.’
    • ‘Forty-year-old faculty members have usually shed some of their earlier envies, animosities, and petty vanities, enabling them to be more understanding mentors.’
    • ‘Liberal commenters seem to miss the irrelevance of class envy to the popular dislike of this tax.’
    • ‘It's an unusual route to work, but definitely one that our construction team envies.’
    • ‘Whether this attitude is motivated by envy or pure hatred, I know not.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘Some may even feel envy in that they wish they could feel the same way.’
    jealousy, enviousness, covetousness, desire
    View synonyms
    1. 1.1the envy of A person or thing that inspires envy.
      ‘their national health service is the envy of many in Europe’
      • ‘He took with him the cutest girl in his grade, much to the envy of his classmates.’
      • ‘If everywhere can become as good, our health service will be the envy of the world.’
      • ‘It was the pride of the community and the envy of ageing district hospitals all over the country.’
      • ‘The strong organisational structure is the envy of the rest of the ethnic communities.’
      • ‘By all accounts, the Army and its sister services are the envy of other government organizations and commercial corporations.’
      • ‘My collection has become the envy of my film buff friends.’
      • ‘The biggest test of his technique came on the last tour of Australia on pitches that were not quite so comfortable and against an attack which has been the envy of the world for some time.’
      • ‘Our migration program is the envy of the rest of the world.’
      • ‘This show had all the verve and nerve that makes London street fashion the envy of the world.’
      • ‘First of all, the local fishing club have a range of water at their disposal which would be the envy of any of their mainland counterparts.’
      • ‘The epicentre of the county, it lacks little in services and facilities, and indeed is seen as the envy of many other locations of similar size and population.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘When we are the envy of other communities and the pride of local police why would we drop our advantage and join the rabble?’
      • ‘I think it is fair to say that that Government had the courage to put in place a goods and services tax that is still the envy of other countries throughout 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.’
      • ‘But a service that was the envy of the world in 1948 is simply not up to the demands of the 21st century.’
      • ‘Equally, as we noted last week, they enjoy working practices - four days on, four off - and pension rights that are the envy of workers in the other public services.’
      • ‘Its roads and health service were once the envy of those living to the south of the border, but have been allowed to run down.’
      • ‘Surely our progressive system of education will be the envy of the world.’
      • ‘This arrangement should be the envy of every ruling class in the world.’
      object of envy, source of envy
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verb

[with object]
  • 1Desire to have a quality, possession, or other desirable attribute belonging to (someone else)

    ‘he envied people who did not have to work on weekends’
    with two objects ‘I envy Jane her happiness’
    • ‘I am popular, and all of the unpopular girls envy me.’
    • ‘I almost envy you, on occasion, growing up in such a peaceful time.’
    • ‘I always used to envy people who had faith; I used to wish I too had faith, the sort that can carry you through when times are tough.’
    • ‘I've always envied the girls on TV with the nice protective older brothers.’
    • ‘I've always wondered if I hate guys like that or just secretly envy them.’
    • ‘What I envied most was that they could write when and what they wanted too.’
    • ‘Borges' characters can similarly be said to envy women their desire that they cannot understand and do not dare explore.’
    • ‘Yet, in another respect, he almost envied her a little.’
    • ‘I so envy the people I meet who command a range of skills.’
    • ‘I always envy other people's enjoyment of London Town.’
    • ‘Sometimes I feel like one of those girls that other girls envy.’
    • ‘He envies his freedom from bitterness and hate, and his love for his wife.’
    • ‘She secretly envied the maid for her ability to remain so sly and untouched by pain.’
    • ‘You must mark out your territory as an artist, so that others learn to envy you and aspire to what you are doing.’
    • ‘Modern architects, he writes in his foreword, envied the freedom of those artists.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘I've always envied people on those TV shows where everyone knows each other.’
    • ‘A long time ago, when we first became friends, I had envied that ability.’
    • ‘I've always envied the royal family ever since they came into power here.’
    • ‘There's a high chance someone will be watching and envying your freedom.’
    be envious of, be jealous of
    View synonyms
    1. 1.1 Desire for oneself (something possessed or enjoyed by another)
      ‘a lifestyle that most of us would envy’
      covet, be covetous of
      View synonyms

Origin

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’.

Pronunciation

envy

/ˈɛnvi//ˈenvē/