Definition of jealous in US English:



  • 1Feeling or showing envy of someone or their achievements and advantages.

    ‘he grew jealous of her success’
    • ‘We are trying to put an entertaining team on the park, and some people are jealous of that.’
    • ‘You are really and truly, happy for your friend because something fantastic is happening in their life, but at the same time you are so jealous of them that you want to scream.’
    • ‘The Soviet Union had better technology and more money to spend on it than America, and that made the Americans jealous, even envious.’
    • ‘His house is huge and his dogs were so happy and friendly when I arrived, but now the oldest seems jealous of the attention he is giving me.’
    • ‘And her eyes were outlined in black eyeliner, making her green eyes stand out even more, which she was jealous of.’
    • ‘They were much more intelligent than we were, and quite frankly, we were jealous of their achievements.’
    • ‘It would be selfish to be jealous of him, and I could truthfully say I wasn't.’
    • ‘She had dark brown hair and bright green eyes, I was also jealous of.’
    • ‘She said they were jealous of her genius and resented her because she was a woman.’
    • ‘I imagine many so-called moralists are secretly jealous of teens engaged in pleasure, as opposed to any serious moral valuation they may hold.’
    • ‘He is jealous of their prowess, and those qualities together in this time could be the biggest asset that we have in leadership.’
    • ‘People who are envious or jealous seem to be in a perpetual state of suffering and anguish.’
    • ‘We each seek our own advantage, competing and exploiting as necessary; jealous of the success of others and determined to hold on to what we think of as ours.’
    • ‘I'm insanely jealous of people who have imaginations.’
    • ‘Despite being backstabbers and fiercely jealous of each other, I think of writers as an international guild.’
    • ‘Some English people feel jealous of Scotland's better roads, free higher education and a more efficient welfare system.’
    • ‘I'm jealous of the people behind the popular weblogs.’
    • ‘I try not to get jealous of her affection for my dog.’
    • ‘By our very nature, we are selfish, jealous, envious, stricken with strife, and sometimes downright rebellious.’
    • ‘My personal view, admittedly pretty neurotic, is that the politician is jealous of hardworking people who can manage to have a good time.’
    envious, covetous, desirous
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    1. 1.1 Feeling or showing suspicion of someone's unfaithfulness in a relationship.
      ‘a jealous boyfriend’
      • ‘Over three quarters reported that their dating partners did something to make them jealous.’
      • ‘Alison told him that her husband was a jealous man, but that she would meet him as soon as she could without worry or fear that he would find them.’
      • ‘We stopped sleeping together, but when Hanna got a new boyfriend I was jealous for the first time ever.’
      • ‘A jealous husband broke a man's nose because he thought someone was ‘ogling’ his wife.’
      • ‘Also, she had been asked to join study groups, but the husband was jealous, and forbade her from meeting with other students.’
      suspicious, distrustful, mistrustful, doubting, insecure, anxious
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    2. 1.2 Fiercely protective or vigilant of one's rights or possessions.
      ‘Howard is still a little jealous of his authority’
      ‘they kept a jealous eye over their interests’
      • ‘It means that he cares enough about you and your relationship that he is getting jealous and protective of you.’
      • ‘Mr Dallas said Edmunds was possessive and jealous of Miss Lawrance and took the view that if he could not have her then no one else would.’
      • ‘He was too possessive of her, she was too jealous of him.’
      protective, defensive, vigilant, watchful, heedful, mindful, careful, solicitous, attentive
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    3. 1.3 (of God) demanding faithfulness and exclusive worship.
      • ‘God in the Old Testament of the Bible is a vengeful, jealous God that smites those who disobey him.’
      • ‘In Hebrews we also meet the strong protests of the jealous God, who is intolerant of rivals with a holy intolerance.’
      • ‘Milton had become too rational and believed in a fiery jealous God rather than the forgiving Holy Spirit.’
      • ‘I also posed a question to him: If the Christian God was supposed to be a god of love, then why is he a jealous god?’
      • ‘The religious justification derives from the ban on graven images, common to the jealous God of the Old Testament and to Allah.’


Middle English: from Old French gelos, from medieval Latin zelosus (see zealous).