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To begrudge means to envy or to give up reluctantly. In the common phrase, ‘you can’t begrudge someone something’, it can be read as ‘you cannot be reluctant to give someone something.’ Note that it must be used in the negative form for this meaning to be understood.

One can be a begrudger. It is also seen in the adverb form begrudgingly.

The term grudgingly is discussed here.


The departure of Callum Wilson comes as a big blow to the Sky Blues but you cannot begrudge the choice he has made to deservedly progress his career at Bournemouth at a much higher level, writes Observer sports editor Steve Carpenter. [Coventry Obeserver]

But his food is enjoyable, the atmosphere in his restaurant is lively and I don’t begrudge a penny to someone who has tried so honestly and so hard to get our children eating food instead of pig swill. [Nottingham Post]

For it’s true, our uncertainty is salted through most of our national conversations and often most prominently when camouflaged by bold sweeps of bravado; our claims to world’s best practice, to be world leaders and to begrudge the moments when we fail to shine. [Sydney Morning Herald]

A Manhattan judge begrudgingly approved a long-delayed $285 million settlement between Citigroup Inc. and government regulators Tuesday over toxic mortgage securities, but not without a parting shot at the appeals court that forced his hand. [Star Tribune]

That wretched creature, the great Irish begrudger, has had a rough time of it recently. [Irish Independent]