- 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.
- a nation or government with which one's own is at war.
Origin of public enemy
First recorded in 1750–60
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018
- a notorious person, such as a criminal, who is regarded as a menace to the public