Definition of amity
- an era of international amity
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These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'amity.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.
Amity has been used in English to describe friendship or friendliness for well over 500 years. It is derived from the Latin word for "friend," amicus, and has come to be used especially for relationships between political leaders and nations in which goodwill is shown despite differences that might exist between the two parties. Amicus is also the root of the adjectives amiable and amicable. Amiable implies having qualities that make one liked and easy to deal with—for example, "The owners of the bed-and-breakfast were very amiable." Amicable is closer in meaning to amity: it implies friendliness and politeness with the desire to avoid disagreement and argument. A relationship between coworkers might be described as amicable. Other family members of amicus are the Spanish borrowing amigo ("friend") and the antonymous enemy, which developed from the Latin combination of the prefix in- ("not") with amicus.
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