Definition of enemy in English:

enemy

noun

  • 1A person who is actively opposed or hostile to someone or something.

    • ‘Through lies and misunderstanding this results in him becoming the sworn enemy of his own mother.’
    • ‘Albert did his best to smile at a man who was supposed to be his enemy despite being critically ill himself.’
    • ‘It was well hidden and difficult for an enemy to identify from the air or from the ground.’
    • ‘She was disappointed in this, as her instincts told her that he was the most dangerous of enemies.’
    • ‘In other words he is a dangerous enemy and consequently a good man to have on one's side provided one can keep an eye on him.’
    • ‘He was usually slow to anger but once his wrath was roused he made a dangerous enemy.’
    • ‘The cannon in question is retired and would be used only as a decoy to fool enemies in the event of an attack.’
    • ‘Anyone who seeks radical change is going to make enemies of those who benefit from the current system.’
    • ‘Somehow they blamed each other, deciding their sworn enemy was the sole reason for their anger.’
    • ‘He was relieved as he saw that his enemy would do no more harm to lives of the happily free.’
    • ‘He died in Rome and some accounts say he was poisoned by his enemies, other accounts say he died from the plague.’
    • ‘A real Chinese martial arts hero never strikes his enemy if the latter is unable to fight back.’
    • ‘They are determined to harm their enemies whoever this may be and are thus a great threat to our societies.’
    • ‘I was willing to take the risk of having an enemy in my midst in order to get a hold of your brilliance.’
    • ‘So he decided to make peace with the Church in order to have a free hand to deal with his more dangerous enemies.’
    • ‘The entire clan was a bitter enemy of Islam from the start.’
    • ‘He was a man of many enemies, and these enemies were to be found in all political camps.’
    • ‘She was still my sworn enemy who was trying to tear me down in whatever way possible.’
    • ‘He has become the arch enemy of mankind.’
    foe, adversary, opponent, rival, nemesis, antagonist, combatant, challenger, competitor, opposer, hostile party
    View synonyms
    1. 1.1the enemytreated as singular or plural A hostile nation or its armed forces or citizens, especially in time of war.
      ‘the enemy shot down four helicopters’
      as modifier ‘enemy aircraft’
      • ‘The vicious fighting involved hand to hand combat and all the enemy were either killed or captured.’
      • ‘Artillery guns were also used to fire gas shells to deliver poisonous gas onto the enemy.’
      • ‘In major battles there was as much chance of a submarine being attacked by its own side as opposed to the enemy.’
      • ‘This has been a traditional way of attacking the enemy since the days of Wellington.’
      • ‘That means, he argues, that the West must learn new ways of detecting and combating the enemy.’
      • ‘Democracies are entitled to try officers and soldiers of enemy forces for war crimes.’
      • ‘Increasingly U.S. troops are fighting the enemy on urban battlefields.’
      • ‘The enemy aircraft were destroyed not only in the air but also on airfields.’
      • ‘Then the tank behind it apparently mistook an armored vehicle for the enemy and shot and destroyed it.’
      • ‘The object of war is to destroy the enemy's capability to make war.’
      • ‘Not a shot had been fired and not a single Allied aircraft had attacked the enemy aircraft.’
      • ‘Surprise is to strike the enemy at a time or place or in a manner for which he is unprepared.’
      • ‘The time to face the enemy had now come, he rallied his men into their battle formations.’
      • ‘Doing so will help us stay tactically sharp and be able to take the fight to the enemy.’
      • ‘Union troops suffered from heavy enemy artillery fire until they were able to dig in and reduce their exposure.’
      • ‘There, they were to interdict US lines of communication by destroying enemy shipping.’
      • ‘The enemy soldier fell to the ground with the arrow protruding from his back.’
      • ‘Since the main part of the Jacobite army never engaged the enemy, losses were relatively light.’
      • ‘The bulk of the infantry was kept back out of range of the enemy guns, ready to counter-attack.’
      • ‘U.S. Special Forces engaged and killed approximately two dozen enemy forces in a firefight that started with an ambush.’
    2. 1.2 A thing that harms or weakens something else.
      ‘routine is the enemy of art’
      • ‘He will cast his opponents as enemies of change, he will appeal over their heads to the British people.’
      • ‘They are murderers, and more importantly, they are sworn enemies of democracy and the rule of law.’
      • ‘The virus is a challenging enemy that has evolved many ways to avoid detection and elimination.’
      • ‘Part of my psyche is tuned to the belief that routine is the enemy of invention.’
      • ‘In a rather bold twist, the traditional enemy of poetry is turned into a poet himself!’
      • ‘After all, as he explains at length in his book, these three things have a common enemy in risk aversion.’
      • ‘"You have not killed an enemy of freedom, " says me.’

Phrases

  • be one's own worst enemy

    • Act in a way contrary to one's own interests.

      • ‘Hitler went from being a superb strategist in the early part of his rule to being his own worst enemy later on.’
      • ‘Not for the first time in my life, I had been my own worst enemy, but if people don't treat me correctly, I have to hit back at them.’
      • ‘The team were their own worst enemy as they squandered numerous chances in a nervous opening game.’
      • ‘I think a lot of the time I can be my own worst enemy.’
      • ‘But you can be your own worst enemy when there's a lot of negative chatter going on inside your head.’

Origin

Middle English: from Old French enemi, from Latin inimicus, from in- ‘not’ + amicus ‘friend’.

Pronunciation

enemy

/ˈɛnəmi//ˈenəmē/