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See also jealousy

Envy is the desire for another's traits, status, abilities, station, or worldly goods. It need not be associated with an object; its salient characteristic is the unfavorable comparison of one's own status with that of another.

Envy is one of the seven deadly sins in the Catholic tradition. It is considered sinful because envious people ignore their own blessings, and focus on others' status rather than their own spiritual growth.

Envy is often confused with the Deadly Sin of covetousness, or greed, a desire for material wealth (which may or may not belong to others). Envy in its covetous form is forbidden by the Ten Commandments in the Bible.

In some cultures, envy is often associated with the colour green, as in "green with envy". The phrase "green-eyed monster" refers to an individual whose current actions appear motivated by envy. This is based on a line from Shakespeare's Othello.

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Key texts[]


  • Hill, S. E., & Buss, D. M. (2008). The evolutionary psychology of envy. New York, NY: Oxford University Press.


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ca:Enveja da:Misundelse de:Neid es:Envidia eo:Envio fr:Envie io:Envidio pt:Inveja ru:Зависть

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