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

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

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What does the word enmity mean?

According to Merriam-Webster Unabridged Dictionary of the English Language and Dictionary, the word enmity (pronounced ˈɛnmɪti) is a noun that refers to some condition of hostility, animosity, antagonism, ill will or hatred. Mutual enemies might feel this bitter attitude or feeling of dislike. Enmity is a feeling of hostility that people might feel. Many different things can have enmity for one another, from personal enmities to old enmities, to enmities that cause wars, from civil wars to wars between countries like Iraq, Iran, and Syria, among others. Often, people with much enmity for each other will have intense hostility and a competitive feeling that denotes enemy status between themselves and others. Sometimes, this feeling of a hostile person will be ignored for the sake of peace. 

Many different languages also contain words that mean enmity. You may notice that some of these words look and sound very similar to the word enmity. These are called cognates, which are words and phrases that look and sound similar between languages, and also retain a similar meaning. These are often formed when two words share the same root or language of origin. This list of translations for the word enmity is provided by Word Sense

  •  Telugu: శత్రుత్వము‎
  •  Russian: вражде́бность‎ (fem.), вражда́‎ (fem.), неприя́знь‎ (fem.)
  •  Latin: inimicitia‎ (fem.) 
  •  Old English: fǣhþ‎ (fem.)
  •  Albanian: armiqësi‎
  •  Catalan: enemistat‎ (fem.)
  •  French: inimitié‎ (fem.)
  •  Norman: enn’mité‎ (fem.)
  •  Japanese: 敵意‎ (tekii), 敵対‎ (tekitai)
  •  Tok Pisin: pasin birua‎
  •  Greek: εχθρότητα‎ (fem.), έχθρα‎ (fem.), μύνις‎ (fem.)
  •  Swedish: fiendskap‎ (common)
  •  Spanish: enemistad‎ (fem.)
  •  Bulgarian: вражда‎ (fem.), враждебност‎ (fem.)
  •  Italian: inimicizia‎ (fem.), ostilità‎ (fem.)
  •  Swahili: uadui‎
  •  Portuguese: inimizade‎ (fem.)
  •  Maori: ito‎, pukuriri‎
  •  German: Feindschaft‎ (fem.)
  •  Arabic: عَدَاوَةٌ‎ (fem.)
  •  Romanian: dușmănie‎ (fem.), inimiciție‎ (fem.)
  •  Dutch: vijandschap‎, animositeit‎ (masc.)
  •  Polish: wrogość‎ (fem.), nieprzyjaźń‎ (fem.)
  •  Turkish: yağılık‎, husumet‎, adavet‎ (archaic), düşmanlık‎, hasımlık‎
  •  Persian: دشمنی‎ (došmani)

How can the word enmity be used in a sentence?

The word enmity can be used in many different sentences to refer to some hatred between two or more people or entities. In this example, Timothy and John are very competitive coworkers. They constantly argue about who is going to make higher sales.

Timothy: Thanks for stealing my customer, jerk. 

John: What was I supposed to do? He came up and started talking to me. Maybe if you were a little quicker at closing deals.

Timothy: I’m sick of this enmity. I dread coming to work every day because I know I’m going to have to see your sour face. 

In this next example, Timothy and John are being reprimanded by their boss.

Boss: You both have made a fool out of this establishment, and I don’t take it any longer. It is ridiculous that you two hold so much enmity toward each other that you cannot work in the same room. You’re both embarrassments to this company and I should fire both of you right now.  

What are synonyms and antonyms for the word enmity?

There are many different words that have the same meaning as the word enmity. THese are called synonyms. Synonyms are a useful English language tool to know because they can help you to expand your vocabulary and avoid repeating yourself. This list of synonyms for the word enmity is provided by Thesaurus

  •  malevolence
  •  aversion
  •  revulsion
  •  execration
  •  malice
  •  unfriendliness
  •  revenge
  •  invidiousness
  •  animus
  •  acrimony
  •  hostility
  •  grudge
  •  displeasure
  •  coldness
  •  alienation
  •  animosity
  •  repugnance
  •  prejudice
  •  detestation
  •  pique
  •  hard feelings
  •  disfavor
  •  antipathy
  •  repulsion
  •  spite
  •  ignominy
  •  abomination 
  •  militancy
  •  antagonism
  •  indisposition
  •  disapproval
  •  loathing
  •  hate
  •  distaste 
  •  malignance
  •  disapprobation
  •  bitterness
  •  venom
  •  disinclination
  •  objection
  •  scorn
  •  allergy to
  •  ill will
  •  contempt
  •  no use for
  •  rancor
  •  spleen
  •  dissatisfaction
  •  malignancy
  •  disgust
  •  dislike
  •  deprecation
  •  uncordiality
  •  opposition
  •  bad blood 
  •  malignity
  •  odium
  •  horror
  •  hatred
  •  disesteem
  •  abhorrence
  •  envy
  •  offense
  •  daggers

There are also numerous different words that have the opposite meaning as the word enmity. These are called antonyms, which are another quick and easy way to expand your English language vocabulary. This list of opposite words for the word enmity is also provided by Thesaurus

  • cherishing
  •  patience
  •  delight
  •  weakness
  •  ardor
  •  helpfulness
  •  relish
  •  grace
  •  indulgence
  •  flame
  •  case
  •  decency 
  •  mad for
  •  magnanimity
  •  worship
  •  affection
  •  soft spot
  •  tenderness
  •  involvement
  •  gentleness
  •  tolerance
  •  thoughtfulness
  •  piety
  •  sympathy
  •  courtesy
  •  goodness
  • kindliness
  • crush
  • altruism
  • respect
  • allegiance
  • hankering
  • fervor
  • fellow feeling
  • consideration
  • humanity
  •  emotion
  •  delicacy
  •  unselfishness
  •  ardency
  •  amour
  •  like
  •  adoration
  •  love
  •  devotion
  •  friendship
  •  rapture
  •  lust
  •  understanding
  •  compassion
  •  sentiment
  •  zeal
  •  amorousness
  •  tact
  •  amiability
  •  good intention
  •  good will
  •  partiality
  •  amity
  •  adulation
  •  enjoyment
  •  clemency
  •  devotedness
  •  philanthropy
  •  infatuation
  •  attachment
  •  fondness
  •  appreciation
  •  generosity
  •  heart
  •  hospitality
  •  taste
  •  fidelity
  •  idolatry
  •  charity
  •  benevolence
  •  mildness
  •  serviceability
  •  inclination
  •  passion
  •  cordiality
  •  forbearance
  •  kindness
  •  yearning
  •  solicitude
  •  graciousness
  •  regard
  •  solicitousness
  •  enchantment
  •  beneficence
  •  sweetness

What is the origin of the word enmity?

There is a long history of enmity – in both the word itself, and between people! According to Etymonline, the word enmity has been used since the late 14th century to describe a hostile feeling or conflict. This word comes from the Old French enemite, which is a variant of the Old French enemistié. In Modern French, this word is written as the French inimitié. This comes from the Vulgar Latin ​inimīcitātem, which is the nominative ​​​inimīcitās, from the Latin inimicitia meaning hostility. This is usually used in the plural sense, from the Latin ​inimīcus meaning enemy. This is also where we get the related words enemy and amity. 

Overall, the word enmity is a condition of antagonism or mutual hatred between two people or entities. This discord is the opposite of friendship, and this state of hatred can be for a person or spiritual cause. 

Sources:

  1. https://www.thesaurus.com/browse/enmity
  2. https://www.wordsense.eu/enmity/
  3. https://www.thesaurus.com/browse/kindness
  4. https://www.etymonline.com/word/enmity
  5. https://www.merriam-webster.com/ dictionary/enmity#:~:text=Enmity %20and%20its%20synonyms%20%22 hostility,itself %20in%20 attacks%20or %20aggression
  6. https://www.dictionary.com/browse/enmity