Main definitions of foe in US English:

: foe1FoE2



literary, formal
  • An enemy or opponent.

    ‘join forces against the common foe’
    • ‘Having rejoined the world, the Russians are making good use of former friends and foes.’
    • ‘The next few months will find us regaled by friends and foes at work and play, in print and on screen.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘It was notable the number of old friends and foes who attended her removal and funeral mass in Swinford.’
    • ‘Each nation is a potential target whether or not they work together to defeat their common foe.’
    • ‘We often construe inter-state relations in terms of the metaphor of friends and foes, but misleadingly.’
    • ‘The incident only shows that the Americans find nothing wrong in spying on both friends and foes.’
    • ‘Not to detract from the Zelda experience were the enemies and foes along the way.’
    • ‘Now, this seems to me would be the natural way of talking for both foes and friends.’
    • ‘A misunderstanding turns the friends to bitter foes and a dangerous game of death begins.’
    • ‘Joined by a common foe, Van Helsing and Anna set out to destroy Dracula along with his empire of fear.’
    • ‘The struggle between friends and foes of liberty has in many ways been going on for thousands of years.’
    • ‘Their unprecedented public embrace confirmed the government was closing ranks against a common foe.’
    • ‘We must present our case in such a way that we make our foes our friends and not make friends our foes.’
    • ‘The faith itself has prospered beyond measure, beyond the imagination of friends and foes.’
    • ‘The AI levels are high, even on the easier settings, and the enemies make for tenacious foes.’
    • ‘He has been warned by friends as well as foes against overstaying, at the mercy of events beyond his control.’
    • ‘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.’
    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 US English:

: foe1FoE2



  • Friends of the Earth.