Envy vs. Jealousy

The main difference between envy and jealousy is that envy is the emotion of coveting what someone else has, while jealousy is the emotion related to fear that something you have will be taken away by someone else.

Comparison chart

Edit this comparison chart



Definition Envy means "to bear a grudge toward someone due to coveting what that person has or enjoys." In a milder sense, it means "the longing for something someone else has without any ill will intended toward that person." Jealous means "apprehensive or vengeful out of fear of being replaced by someone else." It can also mean "watchful, " "anxiously suspicious, " "zealous, " or "expecting complete devotion." The last is normally applied to God.
Example I envy her possessions or situation. I am jealous that you like her over me.
Easy way to remember Envy is the emotion when you want a possession someone else has. Jealousy is the emotion when you fear you may be replaced in the affection of someone you love or desire.

edit Video Explaining the Differences

edit Examples

Envy is a desire to possess what someone else has. For example,

Jealousy is the fear that what you possess will be taken from you. For example,

edit References

Share this comparison:

If you read this far, you should follow us:

"Envy vs Jealousy." Diffen.com. Diffen LLC, n.d. Web. 22 May 2015. < >

Related Comparisons Follow Diffen
Top 5 Comparisons
Make Diffen Smarter.

Log in to edit comparisons or create new comparisons in your area of expertise!

Sign up »

Comments: Envy vs Jealousy

Anonymous comments (8)

May 4, 2013, 10:19am

To be envious of someone is EVIL in itself, I had suffer at the hands of envious people, so-call friends to say the most. What I find very hard to understand is that some of the people who envy me that much always in a better position than I am but I am just a go getter person who weather the storms in life and nothing seems impossible to with God on my side. God bless me with a natural common sense and business minded hence I think things through throughly before I decided to make a leap. If they need advise they turn to me and I would never give an advise that I wouldn't take for my self, I never hold neither envy or jealousy towards another fellow human being, hence it just pains my heart when I see the venom they spitting at me. I never put things in their face or boast about what I have.

I am from a poor background and but I was born with a very rich mentality hence I put it to work and so I achieve my goals in life. I do have my fair share of really HARD life, I have mountains, streams and valley that I had to cross but my faith has bring me through. I was brought up to be thankful and grateful and be content with what you got, hence I never in my entire life be envy of someones blessings. I celebrate with my friends when they accomplish good things. I am there for them when the goings get rough and tough, I use my experiences to encourage then but as soon as they get to the top I become their enemies.

What I find strange about human, is the fact that some will visit your home and the moment they get inside your peaceful home the atmosphere change, their conversation change to as to how you get what you have or live the way you live, no one wants to be where I was but yet wants to be where I am now. Envious people poison their own banquets and eats it. Envy is like toothache that don't allows you to sit but you can only walk it off.

Envy brings resentment, wars,trouble and bitterness, it causes chaos, a person who is envious is just like a troubled sea that toss to and fro. What I learn in life from experience is that one got to be very careful of who you surround yourself with or who you take into your home, one got to be very selective and be weary of these people because they are everywhere, included your home. They are like parasites, they cloud your path with there insecurity and they have this heavy spirit around then. I have my fair share of these parasites that I phase out all of them.

I made a choice to be happy and grateful every day, if I don't have something or can afford something I just do without with but I dont have time to waste, I create a peaceful environment and I should enjoy life no matter what's going on around me. because envy is like a disease and it can only contracted but hose who counting other peoples blessings.

— 77.✗.✗.202

April 17, 2012, 9:28pm

I guess for years I've mis-understood the difference. I always thought envy was a "mild" thing. Like being envious because Micheal Jordan could jump so high, or that your friend had such a nice house. Where Jealousy was a similar but "worse" thing, where you're feelings were to the point of being resentful.

— 75.✗.✗.237

June 5, 2013, 6:47pm

Jealousy is a tribute that mediocrita pays to a 'GENIUS'

— 8.✗.✗.6

December 19, 2012, 12:12am

The God worshiped by most is the "Jealous God" who is actually Satan posing as God. Satan wants what rightly belongs to God. Jealousy can undermine Love which is why it is Satan's attribute of choice. All the acts in the Bible are blueprints for how to get that which does not rightfully belong to us. It is instruction directly from Satan who considers himself to be our God and for us to obey Him. If we all obey him than he will become our God and we will receive everlasting life (and endless torment) in the afterlife.

— 208.✗.✗.139

November 12, 2012, 4:13pm

We are made in God's image, every emotion of God exists in us and has an opposite i.e., there is a distiNction to be made between Godly and ungodly emotions e.g., God hates, and we are to hate the things he hates i.e., sin not other people.
JEALOUSY & ENVY: JEALOUSY guards what it possesses even if what it possesses does not rightfully belong to it: An example of jealousy in its negative form is King Saul and David (1 Samuel); Even though Saul remained King the anointing he 'possessed', was God's, he realised that God had anointed another person David, to be King of Israel and so went all out to guard his crown jealously by attempting to Kill David. Ungodly jealousy is controlling and abusive but in a godly way it is protective (see Corinthians 11:2). Godly ENVY is excited by the prosperity of others, it is used positively to encourage and motivate you to reach your own goals. In its sinful state envy is begrudging and wants what belongs to others, what they have or enjoy; an example of this type of envy is Joseph and his brothers who wanted to kill him and in Matthew 27:17-18 Jesus was handed over for crucifixion because the leaders of the time envied him. Jealousy and envy are related, and they often overlap e.g., You could say that Joseph's brothers also had the love of their father Jacob but jealousy made them possessive of Jacob's love toward Joseph (the baby brother) who seemed to have taken father's love from them. However, they also recognised a special love between Joseph and their father, something unique that they did not possess, so they envied Joseph and hated him for it.

— 109.✗.✗.176

July 30, 2012, 8:22pm

my understanding from a classical background is that jealous simply means you want what the other person wants while envy means you don't necessarily want that you just don't want the other person to have it, (especially if it is something that they really want).

— 75.✗.✗.226

November 17, 2011, 7:14am

Jealousy is a feeling one feels towards another person, not an object. You can feel jealousy towards an object only when you 'personify' said object into a person.

— 89.✗.✗.233

August 30, 2011, 8:00pm

@, you are jealous of that someone and not of their clothes.

— 67.✗.✗.66


Up next

Love vs. Lust