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Commonly Confused Words: Jealousy, Envy

November 27, 2017

Green ferns. People talk about being green with envy, but what about jealousy? These are often confused words.These commonly confused words look and sound nothing alike, but most people use them interchangeably. In fact, it’s likely this pair of words is a surprise to you. Generally, you won’t bother people if you use these words synonymously, but they do have some distinctions in their meaning.

Their Meanings

Jealousy: feelings of resentment toward another person, generally in the context of relationships

Envy: coveting another person’s possessions, skills, advantages

Their Usage And Some Examples


Robert felt a surge of jealousy when the famous actor winked at his, Robert’s, girlfriend.


Tanya envied Becky’s dark, curly hair.

Their Pasts

Their meanings have remained mostly the same and were not as synonymous in the past.

Jealousy: Around 1200 AD, the word referred to sexual possessiveness and suspicion.

Envy: The word mostly referred to feeling hatred or ill-will toward a person.

So before you go green with envy, make sure you’re not actually feeling jealousy.

By WritersDomain

WritersDomain is a team of in-house writers, editors, and support staff.

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