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Line breaks: enemy
Pronunciation: /ˈɛnəmi

Definition of enemy in English:

noun (plural enemies)

1A person who is actively opposed or hostile to someone or something: the traditional enemies of his tribe Nigel made many enemies this man was her sworn enemy
More 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.
(the enemy)the opposition, the competition, the other side, the opposing side
rare corrival, vier
1.1 (the enemy) [treated as singular or plural] A hostile nation or its armed forces, 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!


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


be one's own worst enemy

Act in a way contrary to one’s own interests: I try my best, but he’s his own worst enemy
More 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.

make an enemy of

Cause (someone) to start feeling hostile to one: you really don’t want to make an enemy of your girlfriend’s best mate
More example sentences
  • The marchers' defiant smugness started to make an enemy of me.
  • The glamorous cabinet minister sacked by the president made an enemy of of the president's wife with early morning calls.
  • By placing it in the enemy camp, the President made an enemy of a would-be ally.

Definition of enemy in:

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