[jel-uh s] /ˈdʒɛl əs/

feeling resentment against someone because of that person’s rivalry, success, or advantages (often followed by of):
He was jealous of his rich brother.
feeling resentment because of another’s success, advantage, etc. (often followed by of):
He was jealous of his brother’s wealth.
characterized by or proceeding from suspicious fears or envious resentment:
a jealous rage; jealous intrigues.
inclined to or troubled by suspicions or fears of rivalry, unfaithfulness, etc., as in love or aims:
a jealous husband.
solicitous or vigilant in maintaining or guarding something:
The American people are jealous of their freedom.
Bible. intolerant of unfaithfulness or rivalry:
The Lord is a jealous God.
suspicious or fearful of being displaced by a rival: a jealous lover
often postpositive and foll by of. resentful (of) or vindictive (towards), esp through envy: a child jealous of his brother
often postpositive and foll by of. possessive and watchful in the maintenance or protection (of): jealous of one’s reputation
characterized by or resulting from jealousy
(obsolete or biblical) demanding exclusive loyalty: a jealous God
an obsolete word for zealous

c.1200, gelus, later jelus (early 14c.), “possessive and suspicious,” originally in the context of sexuality or romance; in general use late 14c.; also in a more positive sense, “fond, amorous, ardent,” from c.1300, from Old French jalos “keen, zealous; avaricious; jealous” (12c., Modern French jaloux), from Late Latin zelosus, from zelus “zeal,” from Greek zelos, sometimes “jealousy,” but more often in a good sense (“emulation, rivalry, zeal”). See zeal. In biblical language (early 13c.) “tolerating no unfaithfulness.”

Most of the words for ‘envy’ … had from the outset a hostile force, based on ‘look at’ (with malice), ‘not love,’ etc. Conversely, most of those which became distinctive terms for ‘jealousy’ were originally used also in a good sense, ‘zeal, emulation.’ [Buck, pp.1138-9]

Among the ways to express this in other tongues are Swedish svartsjuka, literally “black-sick,” from phrase bara svarta strumpor “wear black stockings,” also “be jealous.” Danish skinsyg “jealous,” literally “skin-sick,” is from skind “hide, skin” said to be explained by Swedish dialectal expression fa skinn “receive a refusal in courtship.”


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