animosity

noun

an·​i·​mos·​i·​ty ˌa-nə-ˈmä-sə-tē How to pronounce animosity (audio)
plural animosities
: a strong feeling of dislike or hatred : ill will or resentment tending toward active hostility : an antagonistic attitude

Did you know?

Where does the word animosity come from?

The important Latin word animus (very closely related to anima) could mean a great many things having to do with the soul and the emotions, one of them being "anger". As an English word, animus has generally meant "ill will", so it isn't mysterious that animosity means basically the same thing. Animosity can exist between two people, two groups or organizations, or two countries, and can sometimes lie hidden for years before reappearing. The deep animosities that exist between certain ethnic and religious groups sometimes seem as if they will last forever.

Choose the Right Synonym for animosity

enmity, hostility, antipathy, antagonism, animosity, rancor, animus mean deep-seated dislike or ill will.

enmity suggests positive hatred which may be open or concealed.

an unspoken enmity

hostility suggests an enmity showing itself in attacks or aggression.

hostility between the two nations

antipathy and antagonism imply a natural or logical basis for one's hatred or dislike, antipathy suggesting repugnance, a desire to avoid or reject, and antagonism suggesting a clash of temperaments leading readily to hostility.

a natural antipathy for self-seekers
antagonism between the brothers

animosity suggests intense ill will and vindictiveness that threaten to kindle hostility.

animosity that led to revenge

rancor is especially applied to bitter brooding over a wrong.

rancor filled every line of his letters

animus adds to animosity the implication of strong prejudice.

objections devoid of personal animus

Examples of animosity in a Sentence

Few rivalries can match that of the Cards and Cubs in terms of history, color and animosity. Things are tense in an off year, but in 2003 the teams are at the top of the National League Central division (along with the Houston Astros), separated by a half-game. John Grisham, New York Times Book Review, 1 May 2005
As I get older, I have noticed the troubles many of my friends have with their fathers: the animosities and disappointments, held so long in the arrears of late adolescence, suddenly coming up due on both ends. But my father and I, if anything, have gotten closer, even as I understand him less and less. Tom Bissell, Harper's, December 2004
What I did not anticipate, however, was the depth of animosity that had been simmering among the teachers beneath the pleasantries that characterized our public, formal encounters. I discovered that my enthusiastic advocacy for whole language was received by traditional teachers as demeaning, insulting attacks. Elaine Garan, Language Arts, September 1998
We put aside our personal animosities so that we could work together. his open animosity towards us made our meeting very uncomfortable
Recent Examples on the Web Many seemed to carry their animosity for LSU into this season. Sean Gregory, TIME, 2 Apr. 2024 The answer is likely to lie in the royals’ stubbornness, and their animosity toward the news media, according to expert observers such as Gristwood. Alexander Smith, NBC News, 19 Mar. 2024 See all Example Sentences for animosity 

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'animosity.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History

Etymology

Middle English animosite, from Middle French or Late Latin; Middle French animosité, from Late Latin animositat-, animositas, from Latin animosus spirited, from animus — see animus

First Known Use

1568, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of animosity was in 1568

Dictionary Entries Near animosity

Cite this Entry

“Animosity.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/animosity. Accessed 16 Apr. 2024.

Kids Definition

animosity

noun
an·​i·​mos·​i·​ty ˌan-ə-ˈmäs-ət-ē How to pronounce animosity (audio)
plural animosities
: a feeling of dislike or hatred

More from Merriam-Webster on animosity

Last Updated: - Updated example sentences
Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!