Definition of enemy noun from the Oxford Advanced Learner's Dictionary



; ˈenəmi
plural enemies
1 [countable] a person who hates somebody or who acts or speaks against somebody/somethingHe has a lot of enemies in the company.After just one day, she had already made an enemy of her manager.They used to be friends but they are now sworn enemies(= are determined not to become friends again).It is rare to find a prominent politician with few political enemies.The state has a duty to protect its citizens against external enemies.Birds are the natural enemies of many insect pests (= they kill them). see also enmity2 the enemy [singular + singular or plural verb] a country that you are fighting a war against; the soldiers, etc. of this countryThe enemy was/were forced to retreat.enemy forces/aircraft/territorybehind enemy lines(= the area controlled by the enemy)3 [countable] enemy (of something) (formal) anything that harms something or prevents it from being successfulPoverty and ignorance are the enemies of progress.
be your own worst enemy at worst adjective
Usage noteUsage note: War and peaceStarting a wardeclare/make/wage war (on somebody/something)go to war (against/with somebody)cause/spark/provoke/foment/quell unrestincite/lead/crush/suppress a revolt/rebellionlaunch/mount/carry out a surprise/terrorist attackprevent/halt/represent an escalation of the conflictbe torn apart by/be on the brink of civil warenter/invade/occupy somebody's territorylead/launch/resist/repel an invasionMilitary operationsadopt/develop/implement/pursue a military strategycarry out/execute/perform military operations/manoeuvres/(especially US) maneuverssend/deploy/station/pull back/withdraw troopsgo on/fly/carry out a reconnaissance/rescue missiontrain/equip/deploy army/military/combat unitslead/launch/conduct a raid/a surprise attack/an (air/airborne/amphibious) assault (on somebody)employ/use guerrilla tacticsconduct/wage biological/guerrilla warfarefight/crush/defeat the rebels/the insurgencysuffer/inflict a crushing defeatachieve/win a decisive victoryhalt/stop the British/German/Russian advanceorder/force a retreatFightingjoin/serve in the army/navy/air forcebe/go/remain/serve on active dutyserve/complete/return from a tour of dutybe sent to the front (line)attack/strike/engage/defeat/kill/destroy the enemysee/report/be engaged in heavy fightingcall for/be met with armed resistancecome under heavy/machine-gun/mortar firefire a machine-gun/mortar shells/rockets (at somebody/something)shoot a rifle/a pistol/bullets/missileslaunch/fire a cruise/ballistic/anti-tank missileuse biological/chemical/nuclear weaponsinflict/suffer/sustain heavy losses/casualtiesbe hit/killed by enemy/friendly/artillery firebecome/be held as a prisoner of warCivilians in warharm/kill/target/protect innocent/unarmed civilianscause/avoid/limit/minimize civilian casualties/collateral damageimpose/enforce/lift a curfewengage in/be a victim of ethnic cleansingbe sent to an internment/a concentration campaccept/house/resettle refugees fleeing from warfear/threaten military/violent reprisalscommit/be accused of war crimes/crimes against humanity/genocideMaking peacemake/bring/win/achieve/maintain/promote peacecall for/negotiate/broker/declare a ceasefire/a temporary trucesign a ceasefire agreementcall for/bring/put an end to hostilitiesdemand/negotiate/accept the surrender of somebody/somethingestablish/send (in) a peacekeeping forcenegotiate/conclude/ratify/sign/accept/reject/break/violate a peace treaty