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enemy

[en-uh-mee] /ˈɛn ə mi/
noun, plural enemies.
1.
a person who feels hatred for, fosters harmful designs against, or engages in antagonistic activities against another; an adversary or opponent.
2.
an armed foe; an opposing military force:
The army attacked the enemy at dawn.
3.
a hostile nation or state.
4.
a citizen of such a state.
5.
enemies, persons, nations, etc., that are hostile to one another:
Let's make up and stop being enemies.
6.
something harmful or prejudicial:
His unbridled ambition is his worst enemy.
7.
the Enemy, the Devil; Satan.
adjective
8.
belonging to a hostile power or to any of its nationals:
enemy property.
9.
Obsolete. inimical; ill-disposed.
Origin
1250-1300
1250-1300; Middle English enemi < Anglo-French, Old French < Latin inimicus unfriendly, equivalent to in- in-3 + amicus friendly, friend; see amicable
Related forms
nonenemy, noun, plural nonenemies.
Synonyms
1. antagonist. Enemy, foe refer to a dangerous public or personal adversary. Enemy emphasizes the idea of hostility: to overcome the enemy; a bitter enemy. Foe, a more literary word, may be used interchangeably with enemy, but emphasizes somewhat more the danger to be feared from such a one: deadly foe; arch foe of humankind (the Devil ).
Antonyms
1. friend. 2. ally.
Usage note
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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Examples for enemies
  • Maybe even one fighting enemies from other galaxies or beyond.
  • More often, they become weapons to get rid of untenured profs who have made enemies.
  • Having attained such formidable size, they have no natural enemies.
  • But he is too creative and original a thinker to be surrendered to the vulgar stereotypes of his enemies.
  • Perhaps only because its followers were forced out of their homeland by their enemies.
  • It blames the country's leadership, or minority groups, or national enemies.
  • We are without enemies that are at the forefront of science, technology, and research.
  • They also allow enemies to have a much easier time causing catastrophic damage.
  • It is a little-known fact that a life lived without enemies would be an extraordinarily dull affair.
  • Redundancy and decentralization are our friends, and the enemies of tyrants and monopolies the world round.
British Dictionary definitions for enemies

enemy

/ˈɛnəmɪ/
noun (pl) -mies
1.
a person hostile or opposed to a policy, cause, person, or group, esp one who actively tries to do damage; opponent
2.
  1. an armed adversary; opposing military force
  2. (as modifier) enemy aircraft
3.
  1. a hostile nation or people
  2. (as modifier) an enemy alien
4.
something that harms or opposes; adversary courage is the enemy of failure
related
adjective inimical
Word Origin
C13: from Old French enemi, from Latin inimīcus hostile, from in-1 + amīcus friend
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
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Word Origin and History for enemies

enemy

n.

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.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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