What's the opposite of envious? For instance, I felt X when I got accepted into MIT and my sister did not. Or, when you feel bad for being lucky, when someone else is not.

By googling, I found unenvious but I'm afraid the word might not exist at all, because the Cambridge dictionary has no entry for it.

I feel bad in the first example because my sister and I wanted to study together at the same university. I'm quite happy that I got accepted, but sad at the same time because my sister did not.

  • In the first example, are you feeling high-n-mighty about it, or bad about it, as in the second example? – user11550 Nov 12 '11 at 19:02
  • @JasperLoy Say you and a friend both want to be astronauts; your friend is more qualified, but you get in. You feel bad now, because he/she should be where you are. As an example. – user11550 Nov 12 '11 at 19:04
  • @Mahnax: Improved, hope it's clear now. – Gigili Nov 12 '11 at 19:07
  • Perhaps you feel smug? – yoozer8 Nov 13 '11 at 5:04
  • Are you're looking for something similar to survivor's guilt? except that in this case you it wasn't a bad situation that you survived but a good situation that came to pass for you – 0fnt Mar 6 '16 at 6:52

You could say that you feel sorry for your sister, or that you pity her. You could also feel reluctance towards going to the university because she will not be going. Even if unenvious was a word, I don't believe it means the same thing as what you're looking for; it simply means not envious.

  • Thanks but this is not what I'm after. Maybe my examples don't meet the case. As another example, my fiance recommended me to download a movie, when the download finished, I felt ___ because it had taken her three days to download it and it was quick for me. She lives in another country (say Zambia). – Gigili Nov 12 '11 at 19:33
  • @JasperLoy: Well, I can't take a photo of the feeling. that was all I could think of to explain it. – Gigili Nov 12 '11 at 20:43
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    @JasperLoy I'll pitch in a few bucks for that, if it means clearer questions. – user11550 Nov 12 '11 at 21:17
  • @Gigili - Based on the movie download example are you looking for the word "guilty"? From guilt - a feeling of responsibility or remorse for some offense, crime, wrong, etc., whether real or imagined. – robrambusch Nov 21 '11 at 13:04

Actually the word you are describing doesn't appear to be the opposite of envious - "For instance, I felt X when I got accepted into MIT and my sister did not. Or, when you feel bad for being lucky, when someone else is not."

The opposite of envious would be your sister being happy for you that you were accepted at MIT. Words like gracious and supportive come to mind.

Your example sounds more like ambivalent - " simultaneous and contradictory attitudes or feelings (as attraction and repulsion) toward an object, person, or action" ( http://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/ambivalent ).


The simple antonym would be content, or satisfied...something along those lines. You could also extend it further by being smug or self-satisfied. Both of these concepts do not include direct reference to another person's relative fortune, though.

What you're describing, though, is at least two other concepts that have nothing to do with envy per se: misplaced guilt ("Why did I get in and she didn't?" and disappointment ("I'm going to miss not going to school with her.").

Edit: I meant no insult in my answer, but it sounds like I have offended you. Let me offer one more suggestion anyway: mixed feelings,relief/joy at getting in, along with sadness / disappointment about your sister.

  • As you said, what you explained here is really simple and not the antonym I look for. I asked if there is a single word for that, not a book. Thank you anyway. – Gigili Nov 12 '11 at 20:45
  • I agree with @JeffSahol, it sounds like "guilt" would be the right word/feeling. You feel guilty for getting in and your sister didn't and you feel guilty you managed to download the movie much faster. – Mark Nov 13 '11 at 8:12

I'm not sure envious has an opposite, but, in the circumstances you describe, you might feel you were undeserving.

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    I think, in the example, she (who got accepted) may well feel that she fully deserves it. – Stefano Palazzo Nov 12 '11 at 19:32

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