Definition of envy in US English:

envy

nounPlural envies

  • 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’
    • ‘I know I should be mature and sensible and rise above any feelings of petty envy.’
    • ‘It's an unusual route to work, but definitely one that our construction team envies.’
    • ‘He at once covets and scorns material comforts - and both envies and despises those who enjoy them.’
    • ‘In other times and places blood feuds or class envy might explain this level of suspicion.’
    • ‘Whether this attitude is motivated by envy or pure hatred, I know not.’
    • ‘Forty-year-old faculty members have usually shed some of their earlier envies, animosities, and petty vanities, enabling them to be more understanding mentors.’
    • ‘Consumed by class envy and full of malice, they piled on as soon as they got the news.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘Love cancels resentment, envy and jealousy and replaces them with kindness, forbearance and cordiality.’
    • ‘Liberal commenters seem to miss the irrelevance of class envy to the popular dislike of this tax.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘But I hated myself for letting envy consume me like this.’
    • ‘But it may just be that this vision has in fact been their focus and it has aroused petty jealousy and envy.’
    • ‘My answer is no, I'm not motivated by envy.’
    • ‘They were all consumed by envy now on top of the original dislike.’
    • ‘"That does sound like it was fun, " she answered, smiling with a little 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.’
    • ‘I venture to suggest their preference wouldn't bear too much scrutiny or arouse too much envy.’
    jealousy, enviousness, covetousness, desire
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    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.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘Our migration program is the envy of the rest of the world.’
      • ‘Surely our progressive system of education 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.’
      • ‘But a service that was the envy of the world in 1948 is simply not up to the demands of the 21st century.’
      • ‘This show had all the verve and nerve that makes London street fashion the envy of the world.’
      • ‘If everywhere can become as good, our health service will be 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.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘This arrangement should be the envy of every ruling class in the world.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘My collection has become the envy of my film buff friends.’
      • ‘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 of envy, source of envy
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verbenvied, envies, envying

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

/ˈenvē//ˈɛnvi/