en·​e·​my | \ ˈe-nə-mē How to pronounce enemy (audio) \
plural enemies

Definition of enemy

1 : one that is antagonistic to another especially : one seeking to injure, overthrow, or confound an opponent
2 : something harmful or deadly alcohol was his greatest enemy
3a : a military adversary
b : a hostile unit or force

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Synonyms & Antonyms for enemy



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Examples of enemy in a Sentence

He made a lot of enemies during the course of his career. Tradition is the enemy of progress.
Recent Examples on the Web This results in mediocre outcomes, and mediocrity is the enemy of innovation. Paul Prior, Forbes, "The Five Biases That Stop Innovation Before It Starts," 9 Apr. 2021 In other words: Don’t let the perfect be the enemy of the good. BostonGlobe.com, "10 ways to make your days easier starting now," 2 Apr. 2021 Slide right onto your pillow knowing that morning frizz is no longer the enemy. Kaitlyn Yarborough, Southern Living, "The Best Silk Pillowcases of 2021 for Fighting Frizz and Fine Lines While You Snooze," 24 Mar. 2021 Yet all too often primary voters fail to understand that the quest for partisan perfection can be the enemy of the political good. David French, Time, "Keep the Filibuster, There Are Better Ways to Reform a Broken System," 23 Mar. 2021 The sentiment that perfect can be the enemy of good extends to organizing. Washington Post, "Spring cleaning: How to clear the cobwebs without adding to your pandemic stress," 23 Mar. 2021 Your body needs calories to function, and so calories are not the enemy. Stefani Sassos, Ms, Rdn, Cso, Good Housekeeping, "As a Registered Dietitian, I Can Tell You That There Absolutely Are No "Bad" Foods," 13 Mar. 2021 The Democratic Governor is right that complexity is the enemy of speed. The Editorial Board, WSJ, "Connecticut’s Covid Vaccine Lesson," 23 Feb. 2021 In the show, Rosalind clearly sets up witches to be the enemy, something that mirrors a plot point of the original Winx cartoon, which included a trio of evil witches called the Trix. Olivia Truffaut-wong, refinery29.com, "Fate: The Winx Saga Season 1 Dropped A Few Clues About Rosalind’s Ultimate Plan," 1 Feb. 2021

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

13th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for enemy

Middle English enmy, enemi, borrowed from Anglo-French enemi, going back to Latin inimīcus, noun derivative of inimīcus, adjective, "of an opponent, unfriendly, hostile," from in- in- entry 1 + amīcus "friendly, well-disposed, loving" — more at amiable

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Time Traveler for enemy

Time Traveler

The first known use of enemy was in the 13th century

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Statistics for enemy

Last Updated

16 Apr 2021

Cite this Entry

“Enemy.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/enemy. Accessed 23 Apr. 2021.

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More Definitions for enemy



English Language Learners Definition of enemy

: someone who hates another : someone who attacks or tries to harm another
: something that harms or threatens someone or something
: a group of people (such as a nation) against whom another group is fighting a war


en·​e·​my | \ ˈe-nə-mē How to pronounce enemy (audio) \
plural enemies

Kids Definition of enemy

1 : a person who hates another : a person who attacks or tries to harm another
2 : a country or group of people with which another country or group is at war or a person belonging to such a country or group
3 : something that harms or threatens Drought is the farmer's enemy.

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More from Merriam-Webster on enemy

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for enemy

Nglish: Translation of enemy for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of enemy for Arabic Speakers

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