Definitions

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

  • adj. Eager or ambitious to equal or surpass another.
  • adj. Characterized or prompted by a spirit of rivalry.
  • adj. Obsolete Covetous of power or honor; envious.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • adj. ambitious or competitive.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • adj. Ambitiously desirous to equal or even to excel another; eager to emulate or vie with another; desirous of like excellence with another; -- with of.
  • adj. Vying with; rivaling; hence, contentious, envious.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • Desirous of equaling or excelling, as what one admires; inclined to imitative rivalry: with of before an object: as, emulous of another's example or virtues.
  • Rivaling; competitive.
  • Envious; jealous; contentiously eager.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • adj. eager to surpass others
  • adj. characterized by or arising from emulation or imitation

Etymologies

From Latin aemulus.
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
From Latin aemulus ("striving to equal or excel, rivaling; in a bad sense, envious, jealous"), from Ancient Greek ἁμιλλάομαι (amillaomai, "strive, contend"), akin to imitari ("to imitate"); see imitate. (Wiktionary)

Examples

  • Johnson in terms emulous of the great doctor's orotundity and ronderosity.

    My Literary Passions

  • But by their offence, salvation is come to the Gentiles, that they may be emulous of them . . .

    Archive 2009-05-01

  • “Summon him to our presence,” said the Lord Abbot; and with an obedient start the two attendant monks went off with emulous alertness.

    The Monastery

  • She never named Delvile, she begged Mrs Charlton never to mention him; she called to her aid the account she had received from Dr Lyster of his firmness, and endeavoured, by an emulous ambition, to fortify her mind from the weakness of depression and regret.

    Cecilia

  • “Do you speak thus of a charge which the most noble of your countrymen feel themselves emulous to be admitted to?”

    Quentin Durward

  • “Rakib” = spying, envious rival; “Ghábit” = one emulous without envy; and “Shámit” = a

    The Book of The Thousand Nights And A Night

  • My belief is that as soon as he hears your challenge, he will embrace the contest; pricked on by emulous pride, he will insist upon getting the better of you in kindness of word and deed.

    Memorabilia

  • No; this was the incantation reserved for souls athirst for fame, of virtue emulous.

    Memorabilia

  • Only gratify their bellies in the matter of appetite, and you will succeed in winning much from them. 297 But ambitious, emulous natures feel the spur of praise,298 since some natures hunger after praise no less than others crave for meats and drinks.

    Oeconomicus

  • For just as an unurged zeal for voluntary service459 may at times invade, we know, the breasts of private soldiers, so may like love of toil with emulous longing to achieve great deeds of valour under the eyes of their commander, be implanted in whole armies by good officers.

    Oeconomicus

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  • They are enough.
    We’ll not divide our stars; but, side by side,
    Fight emulous, and with malicious eyes
    Survey each other’s acts: So every death
    Thou giv’st, I’ll take on me, as a just debt,
    And pay thee back a soul.

    - John Dryden, 'All for Love'.

    September 20, 2009