Synonym Chooser

How does the noun enmity differ from other similar words?

Some common synonyms of enmity are animosity, animus, antagonism, antipathy, hostility, and rancor. While all these words mean "deep-seated dislike or ill will," enmity suggests positive hatred which may be open or concealed.

an unspoken enmity

In what contexts can animosity take the place of enmity?

The meanings of animosity and enmity largely overlap; however, animosity suggests intense ill will and vindictiveness that threaten to kindle hostility.

animosity that led to revenge

When is it sensible to use animus instead of enmity?

While in some cases nearly identical to enmity, animus adds to animosity the implication of strong prejudice.

objections devoid of personal animus

How are the words antipathy and antagonism related as synonyms of enmity?

Both antipathy and antagonism imply a natural or logical basis for one's hatred or dislike, antipathy suggesting repugnance, a desire to avoid or reject, and antagonism suggesting a clash of temperaments leading readily to hostility.

a natural antipathy for self-seekers
antagonism between the brothers

When is hostility a more appropriate choice than enmity?

While the synonyms hostility and enmity are close in meaning, hostility suggests an enmity showing itself in attacks or aggression.

hostility between the two nations

Where would rancor be a reasonable alternative to enmity?

The words rancor and enmity can be used in similar contexts, but rancor is especially applied to bitter brooding over a wrong.

rancor filled every line of his letters


Thesaurus Entries Near enmity

Cite this Entry

“Enmity.” Merriam-Webster.com Thesaurus, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/thesaurus/enmity. Accessed 23 Apr. 2024.

More from Merriam-Webster on enmity

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!