Charles Buck Theological Dictionary
A generous ardour kindled by the praiseworthy examples of others, which impels us to initiate, to rival, and, if possible, to excel them. This passion involves in it esteem of the person whose attainments or conduct we emulate, of the qualities and actions in which we emulate him, and a desire of resemblance, together with a joy springing from the hope of success. The word comes originally from the Greek contest, whence the Latin aemulus, and thence our emulation. Plato makes emulation the daughter of envy: if so, there is a great difference between the mother and the offspring; the one being a virtue and the other a vice. Emulation admires great actions, and strives to imitate them; envy refuses them the praises that are their due; emulation is generous, and only thinks of equalling or surpassing a rival; envy is low, and only seeks to lessen him. It would, therefore, be more proper to suppose emulation the daughter of admiration; admiration being a principal ingredient in the composition of it.
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Buck, Charles. Entry for 'Emulation'. Charles Buck Theological Dictionary. https://www.studylight.org/dictionaries/eng/cbd/e/emulation.html. 1802.