Longman Dictionary of Contemporary English homepage

Topic: MILITARY

Date: 1200-1300
Language: Old French
Origin: enemi, from Latin inimicus, from amicus 'friend'

enemy

noun
     
en‧e‧my W2 plural enemies [countable]
1 someone who hates you and wants to harm you:
She's a dangerous enemy to have.
Cats and dogs have always been natural enemies.
an old enemy of her father
make an enemy (of somebody)
a ruthless businessman who made a lot of enemies
the unforgettable sight of the president shaking hands with his sworn enemy (=an enemy you will always hate)
somebody's worst enemy (=the person they hate most)
I wouldn't wish this on my worst enemy.
2 someone who opposes or competes against you:
political enemies
He was imprisoned for being 'an enemy of the revolution'.
3PM also the enemy the country against which your country is fighting in a war:
He was accused of collaboration with the enemy.
4 something that people think is harmful or damaging:
The usual enemies, cigarettes and alcohol, are targeted for tax rises.
The common enemy that united them was communism.
5

be your own worst enemy

to behave in a way that causes problems for yourself
6

public enemy number one

informal someone famous who has done something bad and who a lot of people do not like:
His views made him public enemy number one in the eyes of the media.
7

the enemy within

people in a society etc that other people think are trying to secretly destroy or damage it:
efforts to label environmentalists as the enemy within
8 if one thing is the enemy of another, the second thing cannot exist because the first thing destroys it:
Boredom is the enemy of learning.
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