- a person who feels hatred for, fosters harmful designs against, or engages in antagonistic activities against another; an adversary or opponent.
- an armed foe; an opposing military force: The army attacked the enemy at dawn.
- a hostile nation or state.
- a citizen of such a state.
- enemies, persons, nations, etc., that are hostile to one another: Let's make up and stop being enemies.
- something harmful or prejudicial: His unbridled ambition is his worst enemy.
- the Enemy, the Devil; Satan.
- belonging to a hostile power or to any of its nationals: enemy property.
- Obsolete. inimical; ill-disposed.
Origin of enemy
SynonymsSee more synonyms for enemy on Thesaurus.com
Examples from the Web for enemy
But the enemy of the new emirs is neither the Jew nor the Christian, it is the godless militant defending secularism.Houellebecq’s Incendiary Novel Imagines France With a Muslim President
January 9, 2015
It was followed by several told-you-so articles with titles like “Have No Illusion: Islam Is the Enemy.”Europe’s Islam Haters Say We Told You So
Barbie Latza Nadeau
January 8, 2015
In “Steal This Episode,” the filmmaker denounces Homer Simpson as an “enemy of art.”Here’s the Lost Judd Apatow ‘Simpsons’ Episode, Penned by Judd Apatow
January 6, 2015
“Do not use complaints, courts and lawyers to beat and to silence the enemy,” the NOA activists wrote.Italy’s Terror on the Tracks
Barbie Latza Nadeau
December 28, 2014
In the event, the enemy did plenty—far more than SHAEF, or for that matter the German high command, imagined possible.Hitler’s Hail Mary
James A. Warren
December 20, 2014
From one enemy of Robert the transition is brief and natural to another.
Having a partiality for Robert, this was not likely to recommend his enemy in her eyes.
They were built upon high cliffs and rumor had it that no enemy could take them.Ancient Man
Hendrik Willem van Loon
How little has been the effect of this example on the conduct of the enemy!
We cannot expect to make everyone our friend, but we can try to make no one our enemy.
- a person hostile or opposed to a policy, cause, person, or group, esp one who actively tries to do damage; opponent
- an armed adversary; opposing military force
- (as modifier)enemy aircraft
- a hostile nation or people
- (as modifier)an enemy alien
- something that harms or opposes; adversarycourage is the enemy of failure
Word Origin and History for enemy
early 13c., from Old French enemi (12c.), earlier inimi (9c.) "enemy, adversary, foe, demon, the Devil," from Latin inimicus "hostile, unfriendly; an enemy" (source of Italian nemico, Catalan enamic, Spanish enemigo, Portuguese inimigo), from in- "not" (see in- (1)) + amicus "friend" related to amare "to love" (see Amy).
Most words for "personal enemy" cover also "enemy in war," but certain languages have special terms for the latter, e.g. Greek polemioi (distinct from ekhthroi), Latin hostis, originally "stranger" (distinct from inimicus), Russian neprijatel' (distinct from vrag).
Russian vrag (Old Church Slavonic vragu) is cognate with Lithuanian vargas "misery" (see urge), and probably is related to Proto-Germanic *wargoz, source of Old Norse vargr "outlaw," hence "wolf;" Icelandic vargur "fox," Old English wearg "criminal, felon;" which likely were the inspirations for J.R.R. Tolkien's warg "a kind of large ferocious wolf" in "The Hobbit" (1937) and "Lord of the Rings." Related: Enemies.