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

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. See More
Recent Examples on the Web This wakes the interest and enmity of Tui’s father, Matt (Peter Mullan), who regards the land as his by rights. Ed Stockly, Los Angeles Times, 24 Aug. 2022 Themes include life on the front and the camaraderie of soldiers, war-time life for civilians, enmity, and fighting for Ukrainian freedom. John Leicester, The Christian Science Monitor, 9 June 2022 Such enmity was intense, and intensely reciprocated. Lauren Michele Jackson, The New Yorker, 8 Aug. 2022 The enmity between the two camps might have been good for education as a whole with each segment acting as a check against the other. Akil Bello, Forbes, 27 June 2022 Israel and Saudi Arabia do not have official diplomatic relations, but have shared clandestine security ties over a mutual enmity of regional arch-rival Iran. Emily Rose, ajc, 10 July 2022 Back-burning, however, has caused the greatest enmity. Alicia Inez Guzmán For Searchlight Nm, Rolling Stone, 8 June 2022 Weil’s position earned him the enmity of the gig companies. Michael Hiltzik, Los Angeles Times, 27 Apr. 2022 Still, the seeming enmity is troubling for some Democrats who believe that the appearance of party unity is crucial to staving off serious electoral losses in this year’s midterms and beyond. New York Times, 9 May 2022 See More

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.

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

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Last Updated

1 Oct 2022

Cite this Entry

“Enmity.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/enmity. Accessed 5 Oct. 2022.

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More Definitions for enmity

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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