noun en·mi·ty \ ˈen-mə-tē \
|Updated on: 6 Aug 2018

Definition of enmity

plural enmities
: 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

  1. Bin Laden may no longer be supplying directions and funding, but his ethos of enmity lives on. —Michael Hirsh et al.Newsweek10 June 2002
  2. What has earned her the enmity of so many peers is her indiscriminate outspokenness. —Karen SpringerNewsweek10 June 1996
  3. 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 Nation1988
  4. There's a long history of enmity between them.

  5. His comments earned him the enmity of his coworkers.

  6. We need to put aside old enmities for the sake of peace.

Recent Examples of enmity from the Web

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.

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

Synonym Discussion of 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

ENMITY Defined for English Language Learners


Definition of enmity for English Language Learners

  • : a very deep unfriendly feeling

ENMITY Defined for Kids


noun en·mi·ty \ ˈen-mə-tē \

Definition of enmity for Students

plural enmities
: hatred especially when shared : ill will

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having an air of easy unconcern

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