late 13c., from Old French envie "envy, jealousy, rivalry" (10c.), from Latin invidia "envy, jealousy" (source also of Spanish envidia, Portuguese inveja), from invidus "envious, having hatred or ill-will," from invidere "to envy, hate," earlier "look at (with malice), cast an evil eye upon," from in- "upon" (from PIE root *en "in") + videre "to see" (from PIE root *weid- "to see").
Jealousy is the malign feeling which is often had toward a rival, or possible rival, for the possession of that which we greatly desire, as in love or ambition. Envy is a similar feeling toward one, whether rival or not, who already possesses that which we greatly desire. Jealousy is enmity prompted by fear; envy is enmity prompted by covetousness. [Century Dictionary]
Similar formations in Avestan nipashnaka "envious," also "look at;" Old Church Slavonic zavideti "to envy," from videti "to see;" Lithuanian pavydėti "to envy," related to veizdėti "to see, to look at."
late 14c., from Old French envier "envy, be envious of," from envie (see envy (n.)). Related: Envied; envying.
updated on February 01, 2018