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noun ad·ver·sary \ˈad-və(r)-ˌser-ē, -ˌse-rē\

Simple Definition of adversary

  • : an enemy or opponent

Full Definition of adversary

plural ad·ver·sar·ies

  1. :  one that contends with, opposes, or resists :  enemy

ad·ver·sari·ness noun

Examples of adversary

  1. He's a very smart criminal who pushes emotional buttons to get what he wants. He's quite a worthy adversary for Mac and the team. —TV Guide, 2-8 June 2008

  2. American diplomacy after World War II exemplified the soundness of this principle. We put our power at the disposal of all who cherished freedom and peace. We did things for others they couldn't do for themselves. We defended others, yes, but we also forgave our former enemies and helped reconcile old adversaries, such as France and Germany. —Colin L. Powell,Wilson Quarterly, Summer 2004

  3. Nike's adversary was an amorphous group of disgruntled consumers connected by a decentralized network of e-mail addresses. Although the press has presented my battle with Nike as a David versus Goliath parable, the real story is the battle between a company like Nike, with access to the mass media, and a network of citizens on the Internet … —Jonah Peretti, Nation, 9 Apr. 2001

  4. Not perfected until the eve of World War I, this small boat cruised on the surface with a diesel engine that also charged the batteries that powered the submarine's electric motors for submerged operation. If it spotted an adversary, the submarine would dive, either to escape or attack. —Archer Jones, Elements of Military Strategy, 1996

  5. His political adversaries tried to prevent him from winning the nomination.

  6. <our old cat seemed to consider the new kitten an adversary>

Origin of adversary

(see adverse)

First Known Use: 14th century

Rhymes with adversary

actuary, airy-fairy, ancillary, antiquary, apiary, arbitrary, aviary, axillary, bacillary, beriberi, bestiary, biliary, black raspberry, Bloody Mary, boysenberry, breviary, budgetary, calamari, calamary, candleberry, Canterbury, capillary, carpellary, cassowary, catenary, cautionary, cavitary, cemetery, centenary, certiorari, checkerberry, chinaberry, cometary, commentary, commissary, condottiere, coralberry, corollary, coronary, culinary, customary, dictionary, dietary, dignitary, dromedary, dysentery, elderberry, emissary, estuary, farkleberry, February, formulary, fragmentary, fritillary, functionary, funerary, honorary, huckleberry, intermarry, janissary, January, lamasery, lapidary, lectionary, legendary, legionary, lingonberry, literary, loganberry, luminary, mammillary, mandatary, maxillary, medullary, mercenary, miliary, military, millenary, milliary, millinery, missionary, momentary, monastery, mortuary, necessary, ordinary, ossuary, partridgeberry, pensionary, pigmentary, planetary, Pondicherry, prebendary, presbytery, pulmonary, quaternary, red mulberry, reliquary, rowanberry, salivary, salmonberry, salutary, sanctuary, sanguinary, sanitary, secondary, secretary, sedentary, seminary, silverberry, solitary, sour cherry, stationary, stationery, statuary, subcontrary, sublunary, sugarberry, sumptuary, syllabary, temporary, tertiary, thimbleberry, Tipperary, Tom and Jerry, topiary, tributary, tutelary, Typhoid Mary, unitary, urinary, vestiary, Virgin Mary, visionary, voluntary, vulnerary, Waterbury, whortleberry, winterberry



adjective ad·ver·sary \ˈad-və(r)-ˌser-ē, -ˌse-rē\

Definition of adversary

  1. 1 :  of, relating to, or involving an enemy or adversary

  2. 2 :  having or involving antagonistic parties or opposing interests <divorce can be an adversary proceeding>

Examples of adversary

  1. The quest for air superiority would come to include strikes on adversary airfields, but only as part of a larger effort also involving such staples as defensive fighter interception, offensive air sweeps, and escort missions with bombers designed to draw enemy fighters into battle. —John Prados, MHQ : The Quarterly Journal of Military History, Spring 1996

  2. Critics of military justice complain that it is not a true adversary system because the JAG has authority over judges, prosecutors and defense attorneys and controls the funds of each. —Fred Strasser, National Law Journal, 4 Mar. 1991

  3. <there was a long history of adversary dealings between the two nations>

Origin of adversary

(see adverse)

First Known Use: 14th century

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February 13, 2016

a trying or distressing experience

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