Meaning of “enemy” in the English Dictionary

british dictionary

"enemy" in British English

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enemynoun

uk /ˈen.ə.mi/ us /ˈen.ə.mi/

B1 [ C ] a person who hates or opposes another person and tries to harm them or stop them from doing something:

He's made a few enemies in this company.
Max stole Lee's girlfriend and they've been enemies ever since.
political enemies

B2 [ C usually singular ] a country, or the armed forces of a country, that is at war with another country:

The enemy had succeeded in stopping our supplies from getting through.
an attack by enemy aircraft
the enemy of sth literary

something that harms something else:

Familiarity is the enemy of desire.

More examples

  • The commandos made a daring raid on the enemy.
  • Attacks by enemy aircraft forced the tanks to retreat from the city.
  • The troops had camouflaged themselves so effectively that the enemy didn't notice them approaching.
  • It was strange to see the two former enemies shaking hands and slapping each other on the back.
  • They were deadly enemies at school, but now they seem to get on much better.

(Definition of “enemy” from the Cambridge Advanced Learner’s Dictionary & Thesaurus © Cambridge University Press)

"enemy" in American English

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enemynoun [ C ]

us /ˈen·ə·mi/

a person who hates or opposes another person and tries to harm that person:

Some enemies are spreading nasty gossip about her.
He views the press as the enemy.

The enemy is a country or the armed forces or people of a country that is at war with your own country:

He was charged with espionage and aiding the enemy.

(Definition of “enemy” from the Cambridge Academic Content Dictionary © Cambridge University Press)