Green With Envy: the Definition of this Idiom with Useful Examples

Last Updated on March 19, 2020

The idiomatic phrase “green with envy” is a phrase that you may hear or see commonly used in everyday conversation and writing. Here you will find the meaning of this phrase and the information regarding its origin. You will also find some examples of how this phrase is properly used in conversations/statements and you will discover other ways to say the phrase while still conveying the same meaning.

Green With Envy

Green With Envy Meaning

The idiomatic phrase “green with envy” means to be jealous of or covet another person’s possessions or advantages in life.

Origin of this common idiom

The origin of this phrase is attributed to William Shakespeare. Before the play Othello was written in 1565, the color green referred to illness. However, in the play, Shakespeare compared the feeling of jealousy to a green-eyed monster. The phrase as we know it today was derived from this comparison that Shakespeare made hundreds of years ago.

“Green With Envy” Examples

Example Statements

A statement that was made in the local paper regarding a fight that broke out at the fair.

  • “A woman was arrested last night after she started a fight with another woman because she was green with envy. The woman arrested for starting the fight said that her boyfriend had been flirting with this woman and she just became very jealous and couldn’t control herself.”

A statement made by a police officer during a recent press conference.

  • “It appears the murder happened because of a jealous boyfriend. His girlfriend had moved on with her life and he could not handle it. He was green with envy and came to her house to attack her as she slept.”

Example Conversations

A conversation between two friends at school.

  • Friend 1: Did you see the way Robin was glaring at you in the hallway this morning when you were talking to Nathan?
  • Friend 2: No, I was too busy paying attention to Nathan to notice anyone else. Why?
  • Friend 1: Oh it was nothing. It is just so obvious that she is green with envy.

A conversation between two co-workers in the office.

  • Co-worker 1: I still can’t believe they gave you the best office space in the building.
  • Co-worker 2: Yeah, me neither, but I’ll take it.
  • Co-worker 1: (laughing) I don’t blame you. I would too! I am so green with envy!

Other examples:

  • He was green with envy when he saw my new Jaguar car.
  • Alice’s girlfriends were green with envy when they saw her new dress.
  • Keiko became green with envy when she saw Kanji talking to Junko.
  • She could see that all the other girls were green with envy.
  • When I told her my news, she was absolutely green with envy.
  • Ben’s heading off to Spain for the week and I’m green with envy.
  • Stop flirting with the bartender. You’re making Mark green with envy.
  • I was green with envy when I saw his splendid new car.
  • It’s enough to turn them green with envy.

Other Ways to Say “Green With Envy”

Like most idiomatic phrases, the phrase “green with envy” can be said in several different ways and yet still convey the same meaning. Other ways that you could say this phrase include:

  • Jealous
  • Envious
  • Covetous

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