hostility

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Synonym Chooser

How does the noun hostility differ from other similar words?

Some common synonyms of hostility are animosity, animus, antagonism, antipathy, enmity, and rancor. While all these words mean "deep-seated dislike or ill will," hostility suggests an enmity showing itself in attacks or aggression.

hostility between the two nations

Where would animosity be a reasonable alternative to hostility?

The words animosity and hostility are synonyms, but do differ in nuance. Specifically, animosity suggests intense ill will and vindictiveness that threaten to kindle hostility.

animosity that led to revenge

When might animus be a better fit than hostility?

While the synonyms animus and hostility are close in meaning, animus adds to animosity the implication of strong prejudice.

objections devoid of personal animus

How do antipathy and antagonism relate to one another, in the sense of hostility?

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 can enmity be used instead of hostility?

Although the words enmity and hostility have much in common, enmity suggests positive hatred which may be open or concealed.

an unspoken enmity

When is rancor a more appropriate choice than hostility?

The synonyms rancor and hostility are sometimes interchangeable, but rancor is especially applied to bitter brooding over a wrong.

rancor filled every line of his letters

Thesaurus Entries Near hostility

Cite this Entry

“Hostility.” Merriam-Webster.com Thesaurus, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/thesaurus/hostility. Accessed 3 Feb. 2023.

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