\ 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

adversary, antagonist, enemy, hostile, opponent

Antonyms: Noun

amigo, friend

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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

The Warriors have been their road block time after time, but a Warriors team without Durant — and perhaps other key players that have been part of their five consecutive trips to the Finals — will be a much different foe. Jeff Zillgitt, USA TODAY, "How Kevin Durant's injury could change the fate of five NBA teams," 13 June 2019 Next up is his old foe, the 11-time champion Rafael Nadal, who dispatched Kei Nishikori 6-1 6-1 6-3 in under two hours on the main Philippe Chatrier court. Ravi Ubha, CNN, "Federer, Nadal to meet at French Open for first time since 2011," 4 June 2019 Her story has always been about revenge and murder, slicing and dicing her foes with the grace and ease of an infomercial chopping device. Jill Gutowitz, Glamour, "Sorry, But I’m Not Here for Arya’s Sex Scene on Game of Thrones," 22 Apr. 2019 Indeed, public opinion is now so hopelessly cocooned that the president is under investigation for colluding with our primary geopolitical foe and more than half the country doesn’t give a damn. Sean Illing, Vox, "Intellectuals have said democracy is failing for a century. They were wrong.," 20 Dec. 2018 During past visits, Culberson arrived at JPL much as a general returning to a capital city after vanquishing his foes, the spoils of war in tow. Eric Berger, Ars Technica, "A congressman’s loss clouds the future of two demanding missions to Europa," 3 Dec. 2018 Put aside the cruelty and inhumanity of using asylum seekers as pawns to retaliate against political foes. Rachael Bade, The Seattle Times, "Trump: Administration giving ‘strong considerations’ to releasing detainees in ‘sanctuary cities’," 12 Apr. 2019 Stand by those principles, be true to them on all occasions, in all places, against all foes, and at whatever cost. Beth Johnston, Washington Post, "On Independence Day, celebrate not just the foundation of the country, but its tradition of dissent," 3 July 2018 Its delegates have urged OPEC not to engage with the U.S., which is a foe of the Islamic republic. Timothy Puko, WSJ, "OPEC Weighs a First-Ever Influence Campaign in the U.S.," 11 Jan. 2019

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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Statistics for foe

Last Updated

23 Jun 2019

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Time Traveler for foe

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

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More Definitions for foe



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

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with foe

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for 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 take the place or position of

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