public enemy

See synonyms for public enemy on
  1. a person or thing considered a danger or menace to the public, especially a wanted criminal widely sought by the F.B.I. and local police forces.

  2. a nation or government with which one's own is at war.

Origin of public enemy

First recorded in 1750–60

Words Nearby public enemy Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2023

How to use public enemy in a sentence

British Dictionary definitions for public enemy

public enemy

  1. a notorious person, such as a criminal, who is regarded as a menace to the public

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012