arch·​en·​e·​my | \ (ˌ)ärch-ˈe-nə-mē How to pronounce archenemy (audio) \
plural archenemies

Definition of archenemy

: a principal enemy

Examples of archenemy in a Sentence

The two politicians were archenemies. The country went to war with its archenemy.

Recent Examples on the Web

Israel's main concern is keeping archenemy Iran, an Assad ally, as far away from its border as possible — along with its proxy, the militia of Lebanon's Hezbollah. Fox News, "Israel says it 'most likely intercepted' second drone approaching its border from Syria," 13 July 2018 Eli Cohen managed to forge close contacts within the political and military hierarchy of Israel’s archenemy in the early 1960s, ultimately rising to become a top adviser to Syria’s defense minister. Washington Post, "Israel’s Mossad spy agency shrouded in mystery and mystique," 1 May 2018 With archenemy Pakistan lying between its borders and those of Afghanistan, India has no other way to directly move supplies to the country. Rajesh Roy, WSJ, "Iran, Russia Sanctions Vex U.S.-India Relations," 19 July 2018 Ahead of his departure, Netanyahu said Monday that archenemy Iran would top his agenda and voiced optimism for the visit. Washington Post, "Netanyahu heads to Europe with Iran on his mind," 4 June 2018 For its part, Israel is wary of Iran's growing influence in Syria, bringing its archenemy closer to its borders. Nataliya Vasilyeva, Fox News, "Russia to send newer, S-300 missile defense systems to Syria," 24 Sep. 2018 Tehran is seeking to set up military bases in Syria that will extend its reach across the region, right up to the doorstep of archenemy Israel. Nazih Osseiran, WSJ, "Thaw Warms Ties Between Gulf States and Syria," 27 Dec. 2018 Israeli military officials have long seen the northern front as the country’s most pressing security concern, with archenemy Iran entrenched in Syria and Hezbollah gaining strength in Lebanon. Josef Federman, The Seattle Times, "Israeli operation targets Hezbollah cross-border tunnels," 3 Dec. 2018 Pakistan’s powerful military has long seen the Taliban as a proxy for its interests in Afghanistan, particularly to deter the influence of its archenemy India, experts say. Saeed Shah, WSJ, "U.S. Envoy Meets Taliban In Push for Afghan Peace Talks," 12 Oct. 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'archenemy.' 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 archenemy

1550, in the meaning defined above

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Last Updated

22 Mar 2019

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The first known use of archenemy was in 1550

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English Language Learners Definition of archenemy

: someone's main enemy

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something valued as if it were money

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