I learned that word from a vocabulary builder app. Since the app only provides a limited definition and sometimes the definition doesn't match with the example, I'll give the example myself:

I'm jaundiced towards him! He's 10cm taller than me!

Can I use jaundiced that way? This word is kind of uncommon in my view because I've never heard of it. If this question is answered, I hope there will be an explanation about the difference just to make sure I'm using it correctly.

And the reason I'm asking this is that some dictionaries (with limited entries) translated jaundiced as a disease. And it sounds awkward. That's why I want to make sure.

  • The full OED defines it as To affect with jaundice; usually figurative. To affect with envy or jealousy; to tinge the views or judgement of. They only have 2 citations for the usage, and the most recent is 1867 - She..wanted to crush the young lady, and jaundice her mother, with a girl twice as brilliant. But it certainly sounds "awkward / unusual" to me, so I suggest learners should avoid jaundiced towards in favour of jealous of (but having a jaundiced view of something is fine by me). Sep 11, 2021 at 12:44
  • ...compare His opinion is coloured, which almost always implies affected negatively, and is generally equivalent to He has a jaundiced opinion. In both cases that can be opinion of X, but a "causative" by- clause only really works with His opinion is coloured by [nostalgia, whatever], not His opinion is jaundiced by [something]. Sep 11, 2021 at 12:54

1 Answer 1


Looking at the Dictionary.com entry for "jaundiced," it looks like it can mean "jealous," but I've never seen it used that way in real life myself. If nothing else, it's very uncommon. Jaundice itself is a medical condition where someone has bile buildup in their blood resulting in a yellowing of the skin and a whitening of the eyes. I know that saying someone is "green with envy" is quite a common expression, so perhaps someone thought that since yellow is kind of close to green they could use "jaundiced" as a similar idiom? That would be my guess—but it is extremely uncommon, to my knowledge.

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    Oxford Dictionaries define jaundiced (in its metaphorical sense) as 'characterised by bitterness, resentment or cynicism'. This usage is familiar enough to me, but it can't be used in the sense which you want. You might criticise another person as having a 'jaundiced attitude' to something they have been complaining about. Sep 11, 2021 at 8:11

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