an·​i·​mus | \ ˈa-nə-məs How to pronounce animus (audio) \

Definition of animus

1 : a usually prejudiced and often spiteful or malevolent ill will harbored an animus toward them … the sixties mentality, with its strong animus against what it defines as "elitism" …— Daniel J. Singal
2 : basic attitude or governing spirit : disposition, intention
3 : an inner masculine part of the female personality in the analytic psychology of C. G. Jung — compare anima

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Choose the Right Synonym for animus

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 animus in a Sentence

She felt an animus against them. feeling no animus toward those who had wronged her
Recent Examples on the Web The animus was very real between the two women, and (spoiler alert!) the beef was not squashed and remains intact. Tracie Egan Morrissey,, "New NY Housewives announced, plus more highlights from biggest-ever Watch What Happens Live," 17 Nov. 2019 That’s the level of animus Babur evokes among sections of Indians. Manavi Kapur, Quartz India, "Babur: A carefully constructed villain who replaced Ravan in Hindu nationalists’ mind," 8 Nov. 2019 The show’s catalogue calls out the racial and religious animus in this and other images in the show. Steven Litt,, "‘Medieval Monsters’ exhibit at Cleveland Museum of Art surveys images used to inspire fear, hatred and wonder," 1 Sep. 2019 Democrats’ impeachment proceedings are rooted in animus, a lack of rights for the accused, no transparency and anger at the 2016 election results. NBC News, "Grassley says House resolution is 'a day late and a dollar short'," 1 Nov. 2019 In a city roiled by months of protest and increasingly riven by political animus, Mr. Ho, 57, has emerged as one of its most polarizing public figures. Andrew Jacobs, New York Times, "A Provocateur of the Hong Kong Protests Gains Growing Stature," 5 Oct. 2019 One of the agents was Peter Strzok, who was later removed from the Mueller investigation because of anti-Trump animus discovered in his texts. Glenn Kessler,, "Fact Check: Comey claims he didn't tell Congress the FBI thought Flynn was not intentionally lying," 19 May 2018 Rather, Arabs, in the-enemy-of-my-enemy-is-my-friend fashion, hope that Iran directs its animus mostly at Tel Aviv, which likewise sees Iran, not Arabs, as its greatest immediate threat. Victor Davis Hanson, National Review, "Israel’s Good and Bad New Realities," 3 Sep. 2019 What’s made things interesting is their evident mutual animus. Gerald Marzorati, The New Yorker, "Serena Williams Routed Maria Sharapova Again, at the U.S. Open, and Looked Ready for More," 27 Aug. 2019

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'animus.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of animus

1795, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for animus

Latin, spirit, mind, courage, anger

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Time Traveler for animus

Time Traveler

The first known use of animus was in 1795

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Last Updated

9 Dec 2019

Cite this Entry

“Animus.” The Dictionary, Merriam-Webster Inc., Accessed 14 December 2019.

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More Definitions for animus


How to pronounce animus (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of animus

formal : a strong feeling of dislike or hatred


an·​i·​mus | \ ˈan-ə-məs How to pronounce animus (audio) \

Medical Definition of animus

: an inner masculine part of the female personality in the analytic psychology of C. G. Jung — compare anima sense 1


an·​i·​mus | \ ˈa-nə-məs How to pronounce animus (audio) \

Legal Definition of animus

: intent discriminatory animus — compare mens rea

History and Etymology for animus

Latin, mind, soul

More from Merriam-Webster on animus

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for animus Encyclopedia article about animus

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