Definition of inimical
- forces inimical to democracy
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received an inimical response rather than the anticipated support
laws designed to enhance national security that some regard as inimical to cherished freedoms
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.
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").
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