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enemy

Syllabification: en·e·my
Pronunciation: /ˈenəmē
 
/

Definition of enemy in English:

noun (plural enemies)

1A person who is actively opposed or hostile to someone or something.
Example sentences
  • She was still my sworn enemy who was trying to tear me down in whatever way possible.
  • Somehow they blamed each other, deciding their sworn enemy was the sole reason for their anger.
  • Albert did his best to smile at a man who was supposed to be his enemy despite being critically ill himself.
Synonyms
(the enemy)the opposition, the competition, the other side, the opposing side
1.1 (the enemy) [treated as singular or plural] A hostile nation or its armed forces or citizens, especially in time of war: the enemy shot down four helicopters [as modifier]: enemy aircraft
More example sentences
  • The bulk of the infantry was kept back out of range of the enemy guns, ready to counter-attack.
  • Democracies are entitled to try officers and soldiers of enemy forces for war crimes.
  • Not a shot had been fired and not a single Allied aircraft had attacked the enemy aircraft.
1.2A thing that harms or weakens something else: routine is the enemy of art
More example sentences
  • Part of my psyche is tuned to the belief that routine is the enemy of invention.
  • After all, as he explains at length in his book, these three things have a common enemy in risk aversion.
  • In a rather bold twist, the traditional enemy of poetry is turned into a poet himself!

Origin

Middle English: from Old French enemi, from Latin inimicus, from in- 'not' + amicus 'friend'.

More
  • An enemy is not your friend. So far, so obvious, but this is, in fact, the derivation of the word. It came into the language at the end of the 13th century from Old French enemi, from Latin inimicus, which was based on in- meaning ‘not’ and amicus ‘friend’. Inimicus is the source of inimical (late 17th century) or ‘hostile’, and amicus of amicable (mid 16th century) or ‘friendly’.

Phrases

be one's own worst enemy

1
Act in a way contrary to one’s own interests.
Example sentences
  • Hitler went from being a superb strategist in the early part of his rule to being his own worst enemy later on.
  • Not for the first time in my life, I had been my own worst enemy, but if people don't treat me correctly, I have to hit back at them.
  • But you can be your own worst enemy when there's a lot of negative chatter going on inside your head.

Words that rhyme with enemy

arch-enemy

Definition of enemy in:

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