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Commonly Confused Words: Jealousy, Envy

November 27, 2017

This or That: Commonly Confused Words: Jealousy and EnvyThese 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

Jealousy:

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

Envy:

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.

By WritersDomain

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

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