animus

noun
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

Keep scrolling for more

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 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 Lawyers for the challengers told the justices that Mr. Trump’s own statements provided powerful evidence of anti-Muslim animus. Adam Liptak, New York Times, "Supreme Court to Consider Challenge to Trump’s Latest Travel Ban," 19 Jan. 2018 Research also suggests that whites hold less racial animus toward Hispanics than blacks. Washington Post, "How the nation’s growing racial diversity is changing our schools," 12 Sep. 2019 Tlaib and Omar have said their criticism of the Israeli government is based on policy differences and have repeatedly denied harboring any animus toward Jews or Israelis. Author: Ruth Eglash, James Mcauley, Anchorage Daily News, "Democratic congresswoman rejects visit to Israel after reversal of ban against her," 16 Aug. 2019 Her hatred for Israel overcomes her love for her grandmother.’’ Tlaib and Omar have said their criticism of the Israeli government is based on policy differences and have repeatedly denied harboring any animus toward Jews or Israelis. Ruth Eglash, BostonGlobe.com, "Tlaib rejects visit under ‘oppressive conditions’ to Israel," 16 Aug. 2019 The lawmakers have repeatedly denied harboring any animus toward Jews or Israelis and have said their criticisms of the Israeli government are based on policy differences. oregonlive, "At Trump’s urging, Israel denies entry to 2 congresswomen ahead of planned visit," 15 Aug. 2019 At least two recent shootings in the U.S. have targeted synagogues, and the shooting suspect in the El Paso case was allegedly motivated by anti-immigrant animus. Grace Segers, CBS News, "House members urge congressional leaders to call session to address white supremacy," 6 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.

See More

First Known Use of animus

1795, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for animus

Latin, spirit, mind, courage, anger

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about animus

Listen to Our Podcast about animus

Statistics for animus

Last Updated

28 Oct 2019

Time Traveler for animus

The first known use of animus was in 1795

See more words from the same year

Keep scrolling for more

More Definitions for animus

animus

noun
How to pronounce animus (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of animus

formal : a strong feeling of dislike or hatred

animus

noun
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

animus

noun
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

Britannica.com: Encyclopedia article about animus

Comments on animus

What made you want to look up animus? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).

WORD OF THE DAY

the exactly right word or phrasing

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Pass the Little Ribbons: A Pasta Word Quiz

  • rotelle pasta
  • Match the pasta to its meaning in English: Rotelle
Spell It

Can you spell these 10 commonly misspelled words?

TAKE THE QUIZ
Dictionary Devil

Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.

TAKE THE QUIZ
Love words? Need even more definitions?

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