Main definitions of foe in English

: foe1FoE2



literary, formal
  • An enemy or opponent.

    ‘his work was praised by friends and foes alike’
    • ‘He has been warned by friends as well as foes against overstaying, at the mercy of events beyond his control.’
    • ‘It was notable the number of old friends and foes who attended her removal and funeral mass in Swinford.’
    • ‘Having rejoined the world, the Russians are making good use of former friends and foes.’
    • ‘This year there is a freshness about the game with rejuvenated forces challenging old foes.’
    • ‘Friends and foes alike live in awe of his intellect and in fear of his directness.’
    • ‘Their unprecedented public embrace confirmed the government was closing ranks against a common foe.’
    • ‘Each nation is a potential target whether or not they work together to defeat their common foe.’
    • ‘The AI levels are high, even on the easier settings, and the enemies make for tenacious foes.’
    • ‘A misunderstanding turns the friends to bitter foes and a dangerous game of death begins.’
    • ‘The incident only shows that the Americans find nothing wrong in spying on both friends and foes.’
    • ‘Now, this seems to me would be the natural way of talking for both foes and friends.’
    • ‘He populates his play with friends, foes, characters and incidents from Maclean's life and times.’
    • ‘However, as friends and foes alike have pointed out, Charles cannot claim to be an expert in all of his areas of interest.’
    • ‘The struggle between friends and foes of liberty has in many ways been going on for thousands of years.’
    • ‘The next few months will find us regaled by friends and foes at work and play, in print and on screen.’
    • ‘The faith itself has prospered beyond measure, beyond the imagination of friends and foes.’
    • ‘We must present our case in such a way that we make our foes our friends and not make friends our foes.’
    • ‘We often construe inter-state relations in terms of the metaphor of friends and foes, but misleadingly.’
    • ‘Joined by a common foe, Van Helsing and Anna set out to destroy Dracula along with his empire of fear.’
    • ‘Not to detract from the Zelda experience were the enemies and foes along the way.’
    enemy, adversary, opponent, rival, nemesis, antagonist, combatant, challenger, competitor, opposer, hostile party
    View synonyms


Old English fāh ‘hostile’ and gefā ‘enemy’, of West Germanic origin; related to feud.




Main definitions of foe in English

: foe1FoE2



  • Friends of the Earth.