\ ˈfō How to pronounce foe (audio) \

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

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Synonyms & Antonyms for foe

Synonyms: Noun

Antonyms: Noun

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Examples of foe in a Sentence

Noun Many considered him a foe of democracy. Her ability was acknowledged by friend and foe alike.
Recent Examples on the Web: Noun The movie doesn’t posit the warden and prisoner as foes, really; rather than pas de deux, Clemency is like two extended solos: Bernadine stalking its halls, Woods stewing in its cells. Rumaan Alam, The New Republic, "Clemency Grapples With the Banal Evil of the Death Penalty," 17 Jan. 2020 Democrat Mary Ann Perez represents that district and has no foes in the primary. John Delapp, Houston Chronicle, "Bay Area features many primary contests," 17 Jan. 2020 The more recent disintegration of Iraq and Syria—once led by ferocious foes of Israel—reinforced the impossibility of another wide-scale Arab-Israeli war. Martin Indyk, WSJ, "The Middle East Isn’t Worth It Anymore," 17 Jan. 2020 Ryle hosts district foes Boone County and Cooper next week and plays at Conner Jan. 29. James Weber,, "Oregon recruit Maddie Scherr, newcomers key for reigning state champ Ryle basketball," 16 Jan. 2020 Biden said of the Islamic State and other U.S. foes in the region. Jeanine Santucci, USA TODAY, "Candidates continue off-stage conflicts, and other top moments from the January Democratic debate in Iowa," 15 Jan. 2020 The Blue Devils have played five such foes this year. Skip Snow, USA TODAY Sportsbook Wire, "Duke at Clemson odds, picks and best bets," 14 Jan. 2020 Oman’s longtime willingness to strike its own path frustrated Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates, longtime foes of Iran who now dominate the politics of regional Gulf Arab nations. NBC News, "Sultan Qaboos bin Said, who modernized Oman, dies at 79," 11 Jan. 2020 That gave Oman a role akin to a Middle Eastern Switzerland, where foes battling each other elsewhere could meet for quiet talks. Ben Hubbard, New York Times, "Sultan Qaboos, Who Built Oman Into a Prosperous Oasis of Peacemaking, Dies at 79," 11 Jan. 2020

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.

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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

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Time Traveler for foe

Time Traveler

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

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Statistics for foe

Last Updated

20 Jan 2020

Cite this Entry

“Foe.” The Dictionary, Merriam-Webster Inc., Accessed 26 January 2020.

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More Definitions for foe


How to pronounce FOE (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of foe

: an enemy


\ ˈfō How to pronounce foe (audio) \

Kids Definition of foe

: an enemy of a person or a country

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More from Merriam-Webster on foe

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for foe

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with foe

Spanish Central: Translation of foe

Nglish: Translation of foe for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of foe for Arabic Speakers

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).


to express in a more acceptable way

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