\ 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 sound of metal clanking against metal merged with the screams of thousands of delighted spectators as fighters struggled to distinguish friend from foe. Laura Mallonee, WIRED, "For These Sword-Wielding Warriors, Medieval Battles Live On," 27 Aug. 2019 John Hocevar, the ocean-campaigns director at Greenpeace, looks a bit spooked by the eyes of so many longtime foes. Rowan Jacobsen, Outside Online, "An Ocean Plastics Field Trip for Corporate Executives," 8 Aug. 2019 The real danger is that declaring political foes to be illegitimate is incompatible with the basic rules of American democracy, which require us to accept, albeit grudgingly, the election victories of our opponents. Jonathan S. Tobin, National Review, "Doxing Donors and the New Era of Scorched-Earth Politics," 8 Aug. 2019 His courage of conviction, wisdom, and sense of humor made even political foes friends, and helped Oakland County to become one of our nation’s best places to live. Kathleen Gray, Detroit Free Press, "How Michigan is remembering Oakland County Executive L. Brooks Patterson," 3 Aug. 2019 Besides, humans have been using alcohol and its inhibition-lowering qualities to strengthen ties in the face of common foes since our earliest days. Lila Maclellan, Quartz at Work, "Why you should totally go to the pub with your mates when you’ve just been laid off," 8 July 2019 The rise of nationalist populism and centralist progressivism, however, transformed the relationship from one of rivalry to one of at least grudging accommodation if not tacit cooperation against their common foes. John Hood, National Review, "New Nationalists Make Three Big Bets," 28 Aug. 2019 Eventually, Jesse learns how to warp-jump, which works both as a dodge and a tricky way to fly around; hypnotize her foes into joining her side as limited-time combatants; create a protective, temporary shield while running through danger; and more. Sam Machkovech, Ars Technica, "Review: Control is Remedy’s best game yet—and a ray tracing masterpiece," 26 Aug. 2019 Sullivan would leave the paper before his political foe would take office in 1997. Dallas News, "Michael Quinn Sullivan's secret audio of Texas House speaker blurs line between journalism, activism," 22 Aug. 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

15 Sep 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 make a temporary encampment

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