c. 1200 in reference to sexual possessiveness and suspicion, from Old French jalousie "enthusiasm, love, longing; jealousy" (12c.), from jalos "keen, zealous; avaricious; jealous" (see jealous). Also sometimes in Middle English in a sense "solicitude, carefulness, regard," the connecting notion being "watchfulness." Meaning "zeal, fervor, devotion" is from late 14c.
updated on January 25, 2016