Definition of enmity
: positive, active, and typically mutual hatred or ill will
enmity was our Word of the Day on 10/17/2007. Hear the podcast!
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.
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.
Origin and Etymology of enmity
Middle English enmite, from Anglo-French enemité, enemisté, from enemi enemy
First Known Use: 13th century
Synonym Discussion of enmity
ENMITY Defined for English Language Learners
Definition of enmity for English Language Learners
: a very deep unfriendly feeling
ENMITY Defined for Kids
Seen and Heard
What made you want to look up enmity? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).