The Meaning of Animosity: What It Is and How To Use It

Do you know the definition of animosity? This article will provide you with all of the information you need on the word animosity, including its definition, usage, etymology, example sentences, and more!

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What does the word animosity mean?

According to Merriam-Webster Unabridged English Dictionary, Dictionary, and Cambridge Dictionary, the word animosity is a noun that refers to a strong dislike, feeling of ill will, or active hostility. This violent hatred can be a personal animosity, which would likely be some conflict between two people. It could also refer to some energetic dislike between two nations or larger groups. The word animosity is very versatile and can be used in a variety of different circumstances to refer to some strong dislike between two people, animals, or groups. 

There are many different languages that also use words that mean animosity. You may notice that in the below list there are numerous different words that look and sound similar to the word animosity. These cognates are often formed when words are of a similar origin or source. If different languages have a common root, they often have words that look, sound, and mean similar things. This list of translations for the word animosity is provided by Word Sense.

  • French: animosité‎ (fem.)
  • Russian: вражде́бность‎ (fem.), неприя́знь‎ (fem.)
  • Tok Pisin: pasin birua‎
  • Roman: animozitet‎ (masc.)
  • Cyrillic: анимозитет‎ (masc.)
  • Greek: εχθρότητα‎ (fem.), έχθρα‎ (fem.), μένος‎ (neut.)
  • Japanese: 敵意‎ (てきい, tekii)
  • Chinese – Mandarin: 敵意‎, 敌意‎ (díyì)
  • Spanish: animosidad‎ (fem.), animadversión‎ (fem.)
  • Finnish: vihamielisyys‎
  • Dutch: verbittering‎ (fem.)
  • Slovak: nepriateľstvo‎ (neut.)
  • Polish: animozja‎ (fem.), wrogość‎ (fem.)
  • Romanian: animozitate‎ (fem.)
  • Czech: nepřátelství‎ (neut.), odpor‎ (masc.), animozita‎ (fem.)
  • Turkish: husumet‎, muhasamat‎ (archaic), düşmanlık‎
  • Ukrainian: воро́жість‎ (fem.)
  • Belarusian: варо́жасць‎ (fem.)
  • Portuguese: animosidade‎ (fem.)
  • Italian: picca‎ (fem.), ripicca‎ (fem.), acrimonia‎ (fem.)
  • German: Hass‎ (masc.), Abneigung‎ (fem.), Animosität‎ (fem.)
  • Bulgarian: вражде́бност‎ (fem.), неприя́зън‎ (fem.)
  • Korean: 적의‎

What are synonyms and antonyms for the word animosity?

There are numerous different words that a person can sue in place of the word animosity. These are called synonyms, which are words and phrases that mean the same thing as another given word or phrase. Synonyms are quite useful to know if you are trying not to repeat the same word over and over again. They are also useful to know if you are trying to expand your vocabulary and knowledge of the English language. This list of synonyms for the word animosity is provided by Thesaurus

  • odium
  • abhorrence
  • grudge
  • distaste
  • prejudice
  • malice
  • repulsion
  • invidiousness
  • acrimony
  • envy
  • antipathy
  • revulsion
  • ill will
  • venom
  • execration
  • animus
  • no use for
  • enmity
  • antagonism
  • disfavor
  • displeasure
  • alienation
  • rancor
  • militancy
  • repugnance
  • spleen
  • coldness
  • malevolence
  • bitterness
  • detestation
  • allergy to
  • hate
  • aversion
  • virulence
  • contempt
  • ignominy
  • disgust
  • hatred
  • abomination
  • malignity
  • horror
  • revenge
  • malignance
  • scorn
  • resentment
  • bad blood
  • pique
  • hostility
  • dislike
  • loathing
  • hard feelings
  • spite
  • disapproval

There are also many different words that mean the opposite of the word animosity. These are called antonyms. Antonyms are also a useful grammatical tool to have in one’s arsenal if they are trying to expand their vocabulary and English language knowledge. This list of antonyms for the word animosity is also provided by Thesaurus

  • friendship
  • acquaintanceship
  • company
  • favor
  • partiality
  • devotion
  • harmony
  • intimacy
  • fusion
  • esteem
  • sociability
  • affinity
  • consideration
  • attraction
  • empathy
  • agreement
  • fondness
  • coalition
  • consonance
  • regard
  • affection
  • companionship
  • comity
  • accord
  • association
  • amiability
  • society
  • sodality
  • friendliness
  • league
  • solidarity
  • attachment
  • alliance
  • benevolence
  • amity
  • rapport
  • concord
  • favoritism
  • amicability
  • pact
  • love
  • understanding
  • closeness
  • familiarity
  • good will

How can the word animosity be used in a sentence?

The word animosity can be used in many different ways, and is quite versatile. The word animosity can describe a hatred between any people, animals, or groups, and can be used in a variety of different circumstances. In this example, Tatiana is in English class.

Teacher: Why do we think the protagonist and the antagonist harbor such an animosity toward each other? Yes, Tatiana?

Tatiana: I think that they both see qualities in the other that they wish they had, and qualities that they fear. The protagonist fears she could become just like the antagonist, and vice versa, but why also both wish they had what the other does. It’s jealousy and fear, at its core. 

Teacher: Very well done, Tatiana.

In this example, the teacher refers to a hatred between two characters as animosity. Later at volleyball practice, Tatiana’s coach discusses some unsportsmanlike conduct at the last game.

Coach: The unsportsmanlike conduct at our last game was atrocious. This is volleyball, you guys. Yes, it is important, but that doesn’t mean you can show animosity and blatant disrespect toward the other team. It’s embarrassing.

What is the origin of the word animosity?

According to Etymonline, the word animosity has been used as a noun since the early 15th century to mean vigor or bravery. This sense is now obsolete. This word comes from the Old French animosité which has been used since the 14th century. The French word comes directly from the Latin animositatem, which is the nominative of the Late Latin animōsitās, a word meaning boldness or vehemence. This comes from the Latin animōsus meaning bold or spirited, from the Latin animus meaning life or breath. The word animus comes from the Proto-Indo-European root ane meaning to breathe. This word has been used to mean an active hostile feeling since the year 1600. Related words include animose. 

Overall, the word animosity is a noun that refers to some strong dislike, ill will, or hatred between two people, animals, groups, or nations. This word is Latin in origin and can be used to describe a great many situations in which there may be feelings of hatred.