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

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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 That has won him enmity from former President Donald Trump, who has said Vos, Senate President Chris Kapenga of Delafield and Senate Majority Leader Devin LeMahieu of Oostburg haven't done enough to investigate the election. Patrick Marley, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, 6 July 2021 Similarly criminalized are the enmity against God and insulting the Prophet. Dr. Ewelina U. Ochab, Forbes, 5 July 2021 That enmity was visible when, the day after Householder was kicked out of office, a committee hearing had to be stopped after Seitz shouted at House Minority Leader Emilia Sykes, accusing her of misstating a fact. Andrew J. Tobias, cleveland, 3 July 2021 Yes, newspaper accounts of organized Black public revelry—and white enmity—survive. Janell Ross, Time, 16 June 2021 The Trump administration put U.S. clout and incentives into landing the country-by-country pacts by four Arab states last year, easing enmity and isolation for the Jewish state in the Middle East that had dated back to Israel's 1948 founding. Ellen Knickmeyer, Star Tribune, 9 June 2021 Her father has largely been in charge through the years, and the stereotypical image of a parent preying on a famous child’s fortune fuels the enmity against James Spears and the conservatorship, though his every move is scrutinized by the court. chicagotribune.com, 24 June 2021 Both leaders noted the lack of outward enmity across the negotiating table. Eli Stokols, Los Angeles Times, 16 June 2021 Part of that story is the longstanding enmity between Bill and the Globe. BostonGlobe.com, 16 June 2021

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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enmesh

enmity

enmove

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Last Updated

21 Jul 2021

Cite this Entry

“Enmity.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/enmity. Accessed 28 Jul. 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

More from Merriam-Webster on enmity

Nglish: Translation of enmity for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of enmity for Arabic Speakers

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