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Envy vs. Jealousy: Know the Difference

Shumaila Saeed
By Shumaila Saeed || Updated on December 25, 2023
Envy is wanting what someone else has, while jealousy is fearing losing what you have to someone else.
Envy vs. Jealousy

Key Differences

Envy involves wanting what someone else possesses, such as their success, beauty, or possessions, without necessarily wishing them harm. In contrast, jealousy centers around the fear of losing something one already has, like a relationship, to a perceived rival.
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Nov 21, 2023
Envy is often a two-person situation, where one desires the attributes or possessions of another. Jealousy typically involves three people, where the individual feels threatened by a third party to something they value, especially in relationships.
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Shumaila Saeed
Nov 21, 2023
The emotion of envy can be silent and internal, manifesting as a longing for what others have. On the other hand, jealousy is often more vocal and external, driven by the fear of losing someone or something to another.
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Shumaila Saeed
Nov 21, 2023
Envy doesn't necessarily impact relationships directly, as it often doesn't involve a loved one. Jealousy, however, directly affects relationships, as it stems from a fear of being replaced or losing someone's attention or affection.
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Shumaila Saeed
Nov 21, 2023
Envy can sometimes motivate self-improvement or a desire to achieve more. In contrast, jealousy often breeds insecurity and can lead to controlling or suspicious behavior in relationships.
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Shumaila Saeed
Nov 21, 2023
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Comparison Chart

Number of People

Two-person dynamic.
Involves at least three people.
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Nov 21, 2023

Emotional Focus

Desire for others' possessions/traits.
Fear of losing something one has.
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Shumaila Saeed
Nov 21, 2023

Relationship Impact

Indirect or minimal.
Direct and significant.
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Nov 21, 2023

Behavioral Expression

Often silent and internal.
Vocal, external, can be controlling.
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Nov 21, 2023

Resulting Actions

Can lead to self-improvement.
Often causes insecurity and suspicion.
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Shumaila Saeed
Nov 21, 2023
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Envy and Jealousy Definitions

Envy

A feeling of discontent or covetousness with regard to someone's advantages or possessions.
She felt envy when she saw her friend's new car.
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Shumaila Saeed
Nov 17, 2023

Jealousy

Hostility toward a rival or one believed to enjoy an advantage.
His jealousy was evident when he spoke bitterly about his brother's new car.
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Shumaila Saeed
Nov 17, 2023

Envy

Resentful longing aroused by someone else's possessions, qualities, or luck.
Her success in the music industry sparked envy among her peers.
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Shumaila Saeed
Nov 17, 2023

Jealousy

A resentful suspicion or rivalry in love, especially regarding a spouse or lover.
Their marriage was troubled by his constant jealousy over her friendships.
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Shumaila Saeed
Nov 17, 2023

Envy

The feeling of wanting to be in someone else's position or have their achievements.
He looked with envy at the world travelers in his social media feed.
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Shumaila Saeed
Nov 17, 2023
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Jealousy

A state or feeling of being envious of someone's achievements or advantages.
His jealousy of her career success strained their relationship.
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Shumaila Saeed
Nov 17, 2023

Envy

A feeling of discontent and resentment aroused by and in conjunction with desire for the possessions or qualities of another. See Usage Note at jealous.
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Shumaila Saeed
Oct 19, 2023

Jealousy

Feeling or showing envy of someone or their achievements and advantages.
She couldn't hide her jealousy when her friend won the award.
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Shumaila Saeed
Nov 17, 2023

Envy

The object of such feeling
Their new pool made them the envy of their neighbors.
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Shumaila Saeed
Oct 19, 2023

Jealousy

Vigilant in guarding something one possesses or desires, especially in reference to a romantic or sexual relationship.
Her jealousy often caused arguments with her partner about his friendships.
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Shumaila Saeed
Nov 17, 2023

Envy

(Obsolete) Malevolence.
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Shumaila Saeed
Oct 19, 2023

Jealousy

A jealous attitude or disposition. See Usage Note at jealous.
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Shumaila Saeed
Oct 19, 2023

Envy

To feel envy toward (another person).
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Shumaila Saeed
Oct 19, 2023

Jealousy

Close vigilance.
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Shumaila Saeed
Oct 19, 2023

Envy

To regard (something) with envy.
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Shumaila Saeed
Oct 19, 2023

Jealousy

A state of being jealous; a jealous attitude.
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Shumaila Saeed
Oct 19, 2023

Envy

Resentful desire of something possessed by another or others (but not limited to material possessions).
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Shumaila Saeed
Oct 19, 2023

Jealousy

(archaic) A close concern for someone or something, solicitude, vigilance.
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Shumaila Saeed
Oct 19, 2023

Envy

An object of envious notice or feeling.
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Shumaila Saeed
Oct 19, 2023

Jealousy

The quality of being jealous; earnest concern or solicitude; painful apprehension of rivalship in cases directly affecting one's happiness; painful suspicion of the faithfulness of husband, wife, or lover.
I was jealous for jealousy.
Jealousy is the . . . apprehension of superiority.
Whoever had qualities to alarm our jealousy, had excellence to deserve our fondness.
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Shumaila Saeed
Oct 19, 2023

Envy

(obsolete) Hatred, enmity, ill-feeling.
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Shumaila Saeed
Oct 19, 2023

Jealousy

A feeling of jealous envy (especially of a rival)
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Shumaila Saeed
Oct 19, 2023

Envy

(obsolete) Emulation; rivalry.
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Shumaila Saeed
Oct 19, 2023

Jealousy

Zealous vigilance;
Cherish their official political freedom with fierce jealousy
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Shumaila Saeed
Oct 19, 2023

Envy

(obsolete) Public odium; ill repute.
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Shumaila Saeed
Oct 19, 2023

Envy

A red-skinned variety of eating apple.
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Shumaila Saeed
Oct 19, 2023

Envy

(transitive) To feel displeasure or hatred towards (someone) for their good fortune or possessions.
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Shumaila Saeed
Oct 19, 2023

Envy

(transitive) To resentfully or discontentedly desire (something someone else has that one lacks).
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Shumaila Saeed
Oct 19, 2023

Envy

To have envious feelings (at).
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Shumaila Saeed
Oct 19, 2023

Envy

To give (something) to (someone) grudgingly or reluctantly; to begrudge.
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Shumaila Saeed
Oct 19, 2023

Envy

(obsolete) To show malice or ill will; to rail.
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Shumaila Saeed
Oct 19, 2023

Envy

(obsolete) To do harm to; to injure; to disparage.
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Shumaila Saeed
Oct 19, 2023

Envy

(obsolete) To hate.
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Shumaila Saeed
Oct 19, 2023

Envy

(obsolete) To emulate.
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Shumaila Saeed
Oct 19, 2023

Envy

Malice; ill will; spite.
If he evade us there,Enforce him with his envy to the people.
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Shumaila Saeed
Oct 19, 2023

Envy

Chagrin, mortification, discontent, or uneasiness at the sight of another's excellence or good fortune, accompanied with some degree of hatred and a desire to possess equal advantages; malicious grudging; - usually followed by of; as, they did this in envy of Cæsar.
Envy is a repining at the prosperity or good of another, or anger and displeasure at any good of another which we want, or any advantage another hath above us.
No blissEnjoyed by us excites his envy more.
Envy, to which the ignoble mind's a slave,Is emulation in the learned or brave.
Shumaila Saeed
Shumaila Saeed
Oct 19, 2023

Envy

Emulation; rivalry.
Such as cleanliness and decencyPrompt to a virtuous envy.
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Shumaila Saeed
Oct 19, 2023

Envy

Public odium; ill repute.
To lay the envy of the war upon Cicero.
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Shumaila Saeed
Oct 19, 2023

Envy

An object of envious notice or feeling.
This constitution in former days used to be the envy of the world.
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Shumaila Saeed
Oct 19, 2023

Envy

To feel envy at or towards; to be envious of; to have a feeling of uneasiness or mortification in regard to (any one), arising from the sight of another's excellence or good fortune and a longing to possess it.
A woman does not envy a man for his fighting courage, nor a man a woman for her beauty.
Whoever envies another confesses his superiority.
Shumaila Saeed
Shumaila Saeed
Oct 19, 2023

Envy

To feel envy on account of; to have a feeling of grief or repining, with a longing to possess (some excellence or good fortune of another, or an equal good fortune, etc.); to look with grudging upon; to begrudge.
I have seen thee fight,When I have envied thy behavior.
Jeffrey . . . had actually envied his friends their cool mountain breezes.
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Shumaila Saeed
Oct 19, 2023

Envy

To long after; to desire strongly; to covet.
Or climb his knee the envied kiss to share.
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Shumaila Saeed
Oct 19, 2023

Envy

To do harm to; to injure; to disparage.
If I make a lieTo gain your love and envy my best mistress,Put me against a wall.
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Shumaila Saeed
Oct 19, 2023

Envy

To hate.
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Shumaila Saeed
Oct 19, 2023

Envy

To emulate.
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Shumaila Saeed
Oct 19, 2023

Envy

To be filled with envious feelings; to regard anything with grudging and longing eyes; - used especially with at.
Who would envy at the prosperity of the wicked?
Shumaila Saeed
Shumaila Saeed
Oct 19, 2023

Envy

To show malice or ill will; to rail.
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Shumaila Saeed
Oct 19, 2023

Envy

A feeling of grudging admiration and desire to have something possessed by another
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Shumaila Saeed
Oct 19, 2023

Envy

Spite and resentment at seeing the success of another (personified as one of the deadly sins)
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Shumaila Saeed
Oct 19, 2023

Envy

Feel envious towards; admire enviously
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Shumaila Saeed
Oct 19, 2023

Envy

Be envious of; set one's heart on
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Shumaila Saeed
Oct 19, 2023

Envy

The desire to have a quality, possession, or other desirable attribute belonging to someone else.
He envied his colleague's natural ability to speak confidently.
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Shumaila Saeed
Nov 17, 2023

Envy

Discontented or resentful longing for another's advantages.
Her promotion stirred a sense of envy in her coworker.
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Shumaila Saeed
Nov 17, 2023

Repeatedly Asked Queries

What is jealousy?

Jealousy is the fear of losing something or someone to a rival.
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Shumaila Saeed
Nov 21, 2023

What is envy?

Envy is a longing for others' achievements, qualities, or possessions.
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Shumaila Saeed
Nov 21, 2023

How do envy and jealousy affect relationships?

Envy generally affects relationships indirectly, while jealousy directly impacts them, often negatively.
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Shumaila Saeed
Nov 21, 2023

Does jealousy have any positive aspects?

Rarely; it's usually seen as harmful, particularly in relationships.
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Shumaila Saeed
Nov 21, 2023

Can envy be positive?

Envy can sometimes motivate self-improvement, though it's often negative.
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Shumaila Saeed
Nov 21, 2023

Is it normal to feel envy or jealousy?

Feeling them occasionally is normal, but frequent or intense feelings can be problematic.
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Shumaila Saeed
Nov 21, 2023

Is jealousy only relevant in romantic relationships?

No, it can occur in friendships and even professional relationships.
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Shumaila Saeed
Nov 21, 2023

Are there cultural differences in how envy and jealousy are perceived?

Yes, cultural attitudes towards these emotions can vary significantly.
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Shumaila Saeed
Nov 21, 2023

Can envy be hidden?

Envy is often a private emotion and can be concealed.
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Shumaila Saeed
Nov 21, 2023

Are envy and jealousy solely human emotions?

While primarily human, similar behaviors are observed in some animals.
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Shumaila Saeed
Nov 21, 2023

Are envy and jealousy interrelated?

They can be, as jealousy sometimes stems from envy.
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Shumaila Saeed
Nov 21, 2023

Does age affect feelings of envy and jealousy?

Age can influence how these emotions are experienced and expressed.
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Shumaila Saeed
Nov 21, 2023

Can envy turn into jealousy?

Yes, if envy involves a loved one, it can evolve into jealousy.
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Shumaila Saeed
Nov 21, 2023

How can one manage envy?

By focusing on self-improvement and gratitude for one's own life.
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Shumaila Saeed
Nov 21, 2023

Do children experience envy and jealousy?

Yes, children can feel both, often in simpler forms.
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Shumaila Saeed
Nov 21, 2023

Can envy be inspired by social media?

Absolutely, social media can often amplify feelings of envy.
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Shumaila Saeed
Nov 21, 2023

Can envy and jealousy influence workplace dynamics?

Definitely, these emotions can significantly impact professional relationships and environments.
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Shumaila Saeed
Nov 21, 2023

How can one deal with jealousy?

Through communication, trust-building, and addressing insecurities.
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Shumaila Saeed
Nov 21, 2023

Can therapy help with envy and jealousy?

Yes, therapy can be beneficial in understanding and managing these emotions.
Shumaila Saeed
Shumaila Saeed
Nov 21, 2023

Is jealousy always obvious?

Not always, as some people may hide their jealousy.
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Shumaila Saeed
Nov 21, 2023

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About Author
Shumaila Saeed
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Shumaila Saeed
Shumaila Saeed, an expert content creator with 6 years of experience, specializes in distilling complex topics into easily digestible comparisons, shining a light on the nuances that both inform and educate readers with clarity and accuracy.

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