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So desirable as to arouse envy: "the enviable English quality of being able to be mute without unrest" (Henry James).

en′vi·a·bly adv.


exciting envy; fortunate or privileged
ˈenviableness n
ˈenviably adv


(ˈɛn vi ə bəl)

worthy of envy; very desirable.
en′vi•a•ble•ness, n.
en′vi•a•bly, adv.


1. 'envious'

If you are envious, you wish you had something such as a possession, quality, or ability that someone else has.

We see them doing things we are not allowed to do, and are envious.

You say that you are envious of a person or envious of something that they have.

...a girl who is deeply envious of her brother.
They may be envious of your success.
2. 'enviable'

You use enviable to describe a possession, quality, or ability that someone has, and that you wish you had yourself.

They have enviable reputations as athletes.
She learned to speak foreign languages with enviable fluency.
ThesaurusAntonymsRelated WordsSynonymsLegend:
Adj.1.enviable - causing envy; "an enviable position"
desirable - worth having or seeking or achieving; "a desirable job"; "computer with many desirable features"; "a desirable outcome"


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[ˈenvɪəbl] ADJenvidiable


[ˈɛnviəbəl] adjenviable
to be in an enviable position → être dans une position enviable


adj, enviably


[ˈɛnvɪəbl] adjinvidiabile


(ˈenvi) noun
a feeling of discontent at another's good fortune or success. She could not conceal her envy of me / at my success.
1. to feel envy towards (someone). He envied me; She envied him his money.
2. to feel envy because of. I've always envied that dress of yours.
ˈenviable adjective
(negative unenviable) that is to be envied. She spoke in public with enviable ease.
ˈenvious adjective
feeling or showing envy. I'm envious of her talents.
the envy of
something envied by. Her piano-playing was the envy of her sisters.
References in classic literature ?
His father had been in the business before him, and Monsieur Ratignolle stood well in the community and bore an enviable reputation for integrity and clearheadedness.
But even in that enviable situation, he was affable, and distinguished as much for his attention to the forms of courtesy, as for that chivalrous courage which, only two short years afterward, induced him to throw away his life on the plains of Abraham.
In a character where it should exist as the chief attribute, it would bestow on its possessor an exquisite taste, and an enviable susceptibility of happiness.
Concerning all this, it is much to be deplored that the mast-heads of a southern whale ship are unprovided with those enviable little tents or pulpits, called crow's-nests, in which the lookouts of a Greenland whaler are protected from the inclement weather of the frozen seas.
I had been vaguely conscious, for a while, of a person who was walking in the street abreast of us; I had glanced furtively at him once or twice, and noticed that he was a fine, large, vigorous young fellow, with an open, independent countenance, faintly shaded with a pale and even almost imperceptible crop of early down, and that he was clothed from head to heel in cool and enviable snow-white linen.
She was unanimously elected assistant editor of the Wareham School Pilot, being the first girl to assume that enviable, though somewhat arduous and thankless position, and when her maiden number went to the Cobbs, uncle Jerry and aunt Sarah could hardly eat or sleep for pride.
Elton had been determined to go on, and had said in a very particular way indeed, that he was going on business which he would not put off for any inducement in the world; and something about a very enviable commission, and being the bearer of something exceedingly precious.
Over the little mantelshelf, was a picture of the 'Sarah Jane' lugger, built at Sunderland, with a real little wooden stern stuck on to it; a work of art, combining composition with carpentry, which I considered to be one of the most enviable possessions that the world could afford.
Dunstan, whose nature it was to care more for immediate annoyances than for remote consequences, no sooner recovered his legs, and saw that it was all over with Wildfire, than he felt a satisfaction at the absence of witnesses to a position which no swaggering could make enviable.
His glance was keen but showed cunning rather than intelligence; his lips were straight, and so thin that, as they closed, they were drawn in over the teeth; his cheek-bones were broad and projecting, a never-failing proof of audacity and craftiness; while the flatness of his forehead, and the enlargement of the back of his skull, which rose much higher than his large and coarsely shaped ears, combined to form a physiognomy anything but prepossessing, save in the eyes of such as considered that the owner of so splendid an equipage must needs be all that was admirable and enviable, more especially when they gazed on the enormous diamond that glittered in his shirt, and the red ribbon that depended from his button-hole.
How enviable is the consciousness of being usefully employed
In the latter case, though not unconscious that there may be taller men among you, I hereby offer myself for that enviable duty.