\ˈfō \

Definition of foe 

(Entry 1 of 2)

1 : one who has personal enmity for another Embrace, embrace, my Sons! be foes no more!— Alexander Pope

2a : an enemy in war

b : adversary, opponent a political foe

3 : one who opposes on principle a foe of needless expenditures a foe of censorship

4 : something prejudicial or injurious

Definition of FOE (Entry 2 of 2)

Fraternal Order of Eagles

Keep scrolling for more

Synonyms & Antonyms for foe

Synonyms: Noun

adversary, antagonist, enemy, hostile, opponent

Antonyms: Noun

amigo, friend

Visit the Thesaurus for More 

Examples of foe in a Sentence


Many considered him a foe of democracy. Her ability was acknowledged by friend and foe alike.

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

From the Post’s report: Complicating matters is that executives in the uppermost ranks of Facebook, Google and Twitter are some of the most outspoken corporate foes of Trump. Alex Shephard, The New Republic, "How Conservatives Are Hoodwinking Big Tech," 29 June 2018 Complicating matters is that executives in the upper-most ranks of Facebook, Google and Twitter are some of the most outspoken corporate foes of Trump. Tony Romm,, "Inside Facebook and Twitter's secret meetings with Trump aides and conservative leaders," 27 June 2018 The ballot comes at a sensitive time for the Islamic Republic, which is being confronted by the Trump administration as well as a group of Gulf foes. Khalid Al Ansary,, "Shiite Cleric Who Once Fought U.S. Leads in Iraqi Election Count," 14 May 2018 The Skripal attack has revived criticism that Conservative governments were not aggressive enough in investigating the Litvinenko murder and other suspicious deaths of Putin foes in Britain. Richard PÉrez-peÑa, New York Times, "Britain Signals Harder Look at Wealthy Russians and Russian Wealth," 29 Mar. 2018 But since Seelbach and Young are two of Cranley's biggest political foes, that wasn't going to happen. Jason Williams,, "PX column: Time for Cincinnati City Council's streetcar supporters to step up and 'fix it'," 1 Mar. 2018 The protracted dispute involves unlikely foes: a professional suburban couple against neighborhood letter carriers. Maria Cramer,, "Facing off with the US Postal Service," 13 July 2018 Ant-Man is getting ready to head back to the Quantum Realm to snag some quantum energy for their new friend (and former foe) Ghost (Hannah John-Kamen). Brian Truitt, USA TODAY, "Spoilers! How 'Ant-Man and the Wasp's end-credits scenes set up 'Avengers 4'," 7 July 2018 The United Federation of Planets found the universe filled with dangerous foes, including the Klingons (who stood in for Soviet Russians) and Romulans (the communist Chinese). Joe Pappalardo, Popular Mechanics, "5 Space Forces From Sci-Fi and What We Can Learn From Them," 6 July 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'foe.' 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 foe


before the 12th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for foe


Middle English fo, from Old English fāh, from fāh, adjective, hostile; akin to Old High German gifēh hostile

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about foe

Dictionary Entries near foe








Phrases Related to foe

mortal foe/rival

Statistics for foe

Last Updated

13 Oct 2018

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for foe

The first known use of foe was before the 12th century

See more words from the same century

Keep scrolling for more

More Definitions for foe



English Language Learners Definition of foe

: an enemy


\ˈfō \

Kids Definition of foe

: an enemy of a person or a country

Keep scrolling for more

Comments on foe

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


not any or not one

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Great Scrabble Words—A Quiz

  • scrabble-tiles-that-read-scrabble-quiz
  • Which of the following Q-without-U words means the number five in cards or dice?
Spell It

Can you spell these 10 commonly misspelled words?


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


Love words? Need even more definitions?

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