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

Keep scrolling for more

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.
See More

Recent Examples on the Web

Some residents said there had been long-running enmity among the men. SFChronicle.com, "News of the day from across the nation," 22 June 2019 If the enmity is sufficient and the disagreement deep enough, no politician can postpone conflict forever. Michael Brendan Dougherty, National Review, "Can Joe Biden Be America’s New Great Compromiser?," 21 June 2019 Even in the long context of Saudi Arabia–Iran enmity, Bin Salman, known as MBS, has been brazen in his criticism of the Islamic Republic. Joseph Hincks, Time, "How U.S. Allies in the Middle East are Responding to Rising Tensions with Iran," 18 June 2019 The regime has held fast to power despite — or because of — the enmity of the colossus to the north. Steve Chapman, chicagotribune.com, "Trump's new ban on Cuba travel continues our bad neighbor policy in Latin America," 5 June 2019 Neither pets nor possessions are spared as his small section of manicured suburbia, soaked in bitter enmity and pearl-gray light, begins to crumble. Jeannette Catsoulis, New York Times, "Review: An Icelandic Suburb Hides Deep Dysfunction ‘Under the Tree’," 5 July 2018 But tonight, part of her point was clear: such an interest seems startling, and somehow odd, given the past and current histories of enmity and violence between the two faiths. Harry Bruinius, The Christian Science Monitor, "Why these Muslims are fighting anti-Semitism," 30 Apr. 2018 Think of it, perhaps, as another triangle in a region where new enmities and rivalries constantly take shape. Ishaan Tharoor, Washington Post, "Saudi crown prince sees a new axis of ‘evil’ in the Middle East," 8 Mar. 2018 Avenatti told audiences from California to New Hampshire, differing with those — including, most prominently, former First Lady Michelle Obama — who counseled grace in the face of enmity. James Queally, The Seattle Times, "Lawyer Michael Avenatti, accused of fraud and attempts to extort Nike, is arrested," 25 Mar. 2019

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.

See More

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

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about enmity

Listen to Our Podcast about enmity

Dictionary Entries near enmity

en masse

enmatter

enmesh

enmity

enmove

enmun

Enna

Statistics for enmity

Last Updated

9 Jul 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for enmity

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

See more words from the same century

Keep scrolling for more

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

Keep scrolling for more

More from Merriam-Webster on enmity

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for enmity

Spanish Central: Translation of enmity

Nglish: Translation of enmity for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of enmity for Arabic Speakers

Comments on enmity

What made you want to look up enmity? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).

WORD OF THE DAY

a small bunch of flowers

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Farm Idioms Quiz

  • cow coming home
  • What does 'poke' refer to in the expression 'pig in a poke'?
True or False

Test your knowledge - and maybe learn something along the way.

TAKE THE QUIZ
Add Diction

Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.

TAKE THE QUIZ
Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!