inimical

adjective
in·​im·​i·​cal | \i-ˈni-mi-kəl \

Definition of inimical 

1 : being adverse often by reason of hostility or malevolence forces inimical to democracy

2a : having the disposition of an enemy : hostile inimical factions

b : reflecting or indicating hostility : unfriendly his father's inimical glare

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Other Words from inimical

inimically \i-​ˈni-​mi-​k(ə-​)lē \ adverb

Did You Know?

In inimical, one finds both a friend and an enemy. The word descends from Latin inimicus, which combines amicus, meaning "friend," with the negative prefix in-, meaning "not." In current English, inimical rarely describes a person, however. Instead, it is generally used to describe forces, concepts, or situations that are in some way harmful or hostile. For example, high inflation may be called inimical to economic growth. Inimicus is also an ancestor of enemy, whereas amicus gave us the much more congenial amicable (meaning "friendly" or "peaceful") and amiable (meaning "agreeable" or "friendly").

Examples of inimical in a Sentence

received an inimical response rather than the anticipated support laws designed to enhance national security that some regard as inimical to cherished freedoms

Recent Examples on the Web

This idea tends to be a dismaying possibility to science-fiction authors like me (and is inimical to the entire premise of my first novel!). Rob Reid, Ars Technica, "Ars on your lunch break, week 4: Some possible solutions to Fermi’s Paradox," 12 July 2018 But his habit of going out of his way to endorse world leaders inimical to Western democracy never stops being stunning. Benjamin Hart, Daily Intelligencer, "Trump Congratulates Hungarian Quasi-Dictator on Election Victory," 16 June 2018 But Chicago owes its reputation as a concert hub to a constellation of independent promoters and venues, and Live Nation has proved itself inimical to their existence. Leor Galil, Chicago Reader, "Music / News Colossal concert promoter Live Nation adds its financial muscle to the Lincoln Yards development," 17 May 2018 The book asked why residents in the heartland kept voting for politicians espousing policies that were inimical to their own welfare—chiefly conservative Republicans hostile to economic policies and government programs that the voters needed. Michael Hiltzik, latimes.com, "Yes, Pelosi and McCarthy represent two different Californias — but why do they serve each other's voters?," 15 May 2018 Of course, public opinion, left or right, that certain types of speech are inimical to civil discourse doesn't necessarily translate into censorship, as a mountain of court cases demonstrates. Mari Uyehara, GQ, "How Free Speech Warriors Mainstreamed White Supremacists," 8 May 2018 Seeing evidence inimical to your views arouses feelings of aversion, suspicion, perhaps even outrage. Robert Wright, WIRED, "Why Pure Reason Won’t End American Tribalism," 9 Apr. 2018 The raging Belle returns Together Belle's temper and thirst kept him from serious consideration for induction by inimical Baseball Hall of Fame writers and certainly denied him his deserved American League MVP award. Bill Livingston, cleveland.com, "2018 NCAA Final Four: The throwback appeal of Loyola of Chicago -- Bill Livingston," 27 Mar. 2018 Together Belle's temper and thirst kept him from serious consideration for induction by inimical Baseball Hall of Fame writers and certainly denied him his deserved American League MVP award. Bill Livingston, cleveland.com, "2018 NCAA Final Four: The throwback appeal of Loyola of Chicago -- Bill Livingston," 27 Mar. 2018

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

1573, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for inimical

Late Latin inimicalis, from Latin inimicus enemy — more at enemy

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Statistics for inimical

Last Updated

14 Nov 2018

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Time Traveler for inimical

The first known use of inimical was in 1573

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More Definitions for inimical

inimical

adjective

English Language Learners Definition of inimical

: likely to cause damage or have a bad effect

: not friendly

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More from Merriam-Webster on inimical

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for inimical

Spanish Central: Translation of inimical

Nglish: Translation of inimical for Spanish Speakers

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