Word Origin & History
early 13c., from O.Fr. enemi, from L. inimicus, from in- "not" + amicus "friend." Most words for "personal enemy" cover also "enemy in war," but certain languages have special terms for the latter, e.g. Gk. polemioi (distinct from ekhthroi), L. hostis, originally "stranger" (distinct from inimicus),
Rus. neprijatel' (distinct from vrag). Rus. vrag (O.C.S. vragu) is cognate with Lith. vargas "misery" (see urge
), and probably is related to P.Gmc. *wargoz, source of O.N. vargr "outlaw," hence "wolf;" Icel. vargur "fox," O.E. 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.