Envy is defined as “the feeling of wanting what someone else has.” For example,
- I envy your ability to sing.
- I envy your bright blue eyes.
- Their rich natural resources are the envy of the entire world.
Envy is a covetousness of another’s advantages, possessions, or abilities. You are envious of the things that others have that you lack.
What’s the Difference?
While many dictionaries have incorporated overlapping definitions of these two words, in best usage their meanings are distinct.
Jealousy, as outlined above, has to do with holding on to what you have because you are afraid that someone else is going to take it away, while envy has to do with wanting what someone else has. That is to say, envy is when you want something someone else has and jealousy is when you’re afraid someone is going to take what you have.
Envy also need not always carry a negative connotation. Envy can be used to indicate a desire to equal another in achievement or excellence as in emulation. Emulation does not have any negative connotations to it.
Jealousy on the other hand always implies a feeling of resentment toward another.
source : writingexplained.org