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 Mainly because there are so many four-legged and two-legged critters there that like to eat them. Anglers can be their own worst enemies by inadvertently spreading waterborne nuisances such as zebra mussels and didymo with their boats. Colin Moore, Outdoor Life, "These 8 Aquatic Invasive Species are Threatening Fisheries Across the U.S.," 7 Feb. 2020 Overwhelmed, the Athenians in the center lines were unable to contain the enemy. National Geographic, "At the Battle of Marathon, Athens' underdog victory stunned Persia," 6 Feb. 2020 If there is an enemy among us, in Kentucky and at least 34 other states, all signs are pointing to El Mencho. courier-journal.com, "Why is The Courier Journal reporting on a deadly Mexican drug cartel? Because it's here," 25 Nov. 2019 But given the hitman’s status as a death-dealing golem the Mob occasionally unleashes on its enemies, De Niro’s creaky movement mostly works. David Sims, The Atlantic, "Martin Scorsese’s Epic Funeral for the Gangster Genre," 1 Nov. 2019 Considering the Browns are ranked 21st in the NFL on offense and have been their own worst enemy a lot this year, that might not be too much of a reach after all. Sportsbookwire Staff, USA TODAY Sportsbook Wire, "Patriots-Browns odds: Patriots open as -12.5 favorite over Browns for Week 8," 22 Oct. 2019 Over time, the worst enemies became the best of friends. Fox News, "African-American pastor’s incredible true story leading a KKK member to Christ hits theaters," 30 Jan. 2020 Mike Kirby, who assembles two teams of crack Green Berets for a mission in South Vietnam, first to build and control a camp that is trying to be taken by the enemy and then to kidnap a North Vietnamese General. Ben Flanagan | Bflanagan@al.com, al, "John Wayne made ‘The Green Berets’ on the Alabama border; see the vintage set photos," 29 Jan. 2020 Since the central government of China’s virus response last week, state media have broadcast a steady stream of inspirational reports about heroic Chinese people uniting to fight the unseen enemy, confident in the party’s leadership. Los Angeles Times, "Tears, fear and panic grip China as coronavirus spreads," 28 Jan. 2020

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 enemi, from Anglo-French, from Latin inimicus, from in- in- entry 1 + amicus friend — 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

17 Feb 2020

Cite this Entry

“Enemy.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/enemy. Accessed 26 Feb. 2020.

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More Definitions for enemy


How to pronounce enemy (audio)

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

Spanish Central: Translation of enemy

Nglish: Translation of enemy for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of enemy for Arabic Speakers

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