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Two words that came from the same source but somewhere along the line, diverged in spelling, meaning and application. Jealousy is a word we have all used, or rather, an emotion most of us have felt at some point of time. Jealous characterizes a person who is overly possessive or envious. He or she generally covets the possessions of others. Whenever I use this word, the song ‘Jolene’ comes to my mind. It is the near perfect song to represent the word.

Zealous, on the other hand, is a super-positive word implying passions, enthusiasm and dedication for something or someone. They say when you make the perfect choice, your zeal for work does not end.

Tool tip to remember the difference:

Just Remember: Relate Zealous to Zeal, strong passion and eagerness to do something.

Examples of incorrect uses of Jealous and Zealous:

1. Leaders who are zealous of their followers do not inspire loyalty.
2. They are inspired by jealous organizations to monitor parental drinking.

Examples of correct uses of Jealous and Zealous:

1. She was jealous not of any particular reason.
2. This should not be mistaken as a zealous certainty.

A Quick Recap:

Jealous means intolerant of competition; suspicious of unfaithfulness: “One should never be jealous of others’ success.”
Zealous , on the other hand, means passionate or eager pursuit of something: “Bhagat Singh was a zealous freedom fighter who sacrificed his life for the country.”


Explore More Usage Tips:

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