enmity

noun
en·​mi·​ty | \ ˈen-mə-tē How to pronounce enmity (audio) \
plural enmities

Definition of enmity

: positive, active, and typically mutual hatred or ill will

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Choose the Right Synonym for enmity

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

Did You Know?

Enmity and its synonyms "hostility," animosity, and animus all indicate deep-seated dislike or ill will. Enmity (which derives from an Anglo-French word meaning "enemy") suggests true hatred, either overt or concealed. Hostility implies strong, open enmity that shows itself in attacks or aggression. Animosity carries the sense of anger, vindictiveness, and sometimes the desire to destroy what one hates. Animus is generally less violent than animosity, but definitely conveys active prejudice or ill will.

Examples of enmity in a Sentence

Bin Laden may no longer be supplying directions and funding, but his ethos of enmity lives on. — Michael Hirsh et al., Newsweek, 10 June 2002 What has earned her the enmity of so many peers is her indiscriminate outspokenness. — Karen Springer, Newsweek, 10 June 1996 Battles over slavery in the territories broke the second party system apart and then shaped a realigned system that emphasized sectional enmity. — Mary Beth Norton et al., A People and a Nation, 1988 There's a long history of enmity between them. His comments earned him the enmity of his coworkers. We need to put aside old enmities for the sake of peace.
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Recent Examples on the Web Russia’s actions stem from the enmity between the U.S. and Russia. Michael Kimmage, The New Republic, "How Biden Can Achieve a Russian Restoration," 26 Jan. 2021 But Wolkoff sheds more light on the extent and depth of the enmity behind those impassive faces. Maria Puente, USA TODAY, "'What a fool I was': First lady's ex-best friend tells all in revenge book 'Melania & Me'," 30 Aug. 2020 Trump earned the enmity of many Washingtonians for that, as well as his administration’s right-leaning policies. Washington Post, "Locked down and socially distanced, Washingtonians still celebrate Biden-Harris," 17 Jan. 2021 Portions of classical Islamic law mandate Islamic supremacy, encourage enmity toward non-Muslims, and require the establishment of a universal Islamic state, or caliphate. Yahya Cholil Staquf, WSJ, "How to Make the Islamic World Less Radical," 14 Jan. 2021 His basic diagnosis is that partisan enmity has created a fundamental breakdown in our political culture. David Brooks, Star Tribune, "How Biden could steer a divided government," 16 Nov. 2020 Armenians and Azerbaijanis lived side by side when both countries were part of the Soviet Union, but century-old ethnic enmity reignited when communism collapsed. New York Times, "After War Between Armenia and Azerbaijan, Peace Sees Winners and Losers Swap Places," 15 Nov. 2020 Baffert has gained the enmity of rivals who see him as a cheater, their suspicions fueled by the 29 drug tests his horses failed over four decades, including four in the past six months. Joe Drape, New York Times, "Authentic Gets ‘Emotional’ Breeders’ Cup Win for John Velazquez," 7 Nov. 2020 Ellison, too, often shows his enmity toward Amazon. Washington Post, "Oracle’s courting of Trump may help it land TikTok’s business and coveted user data," 16 Sep. 2020

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

13th century, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for enmity

Middle English enmite, from Anglo-French enemité, enemisté, from enemi enemy

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Time Traveler for enmity

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

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Last Updated

27 Feb 2021

Cite this Entry

“Enmity.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/enmity. Accessed 27 Feb. 2021.

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More Definitions for enmity

enmity

noun

English Language Learners Definition of enmity

formal : a very deep unfriendly feeling

enmity

noun
en·​mi·​ty | \ ˈen-mə-tē How to pronounce enmity (audio) \
plural enmities

Kids Definition of enmity

: hatred especially when shared : ill will

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