AskDefine | Define enmity

Dictionary Definition



1 a state of deep-seated ill-will [syn: hostility, antagonism]
2 the feeling of a hostile person; "he could no longer contain his hostility" [syn: hostility, ill will]

User Contributed Dictionary



From Old French enemistié (modern inimitié), from Vulgar Latin *inimicitia, from Latin inimicus ‘enemy’.


  • /ˈɛnmɪti/


  1. The quality of being an enemy; hostile or unfriendly disposition.
    • 2005, Plato, Sophist. Translation by Lesley Brown. 242e.
      Some later Muses from Ionia and Sicily reckoned it safest to weave together both versions and say that that which is is both many and one, held together by both enmity and amity.
  2. A state or feeling of opposition, hostility, hatred or animosity.


  • And I will put enmity between thee and the woman, and between thy seed and her seed; it shall bruise thy head, and thou shalt bruise his heel.



Extensive Definition

Hatred is a word that describes intense feelings of dislike. It can be used in a wide variety of contexts, from hatred of vegetables to hatred of other people. Prejudice or bigotry against an entire class of people (e.g. racism) are examples of hatred.
Philosophers have offered many influencial definitions of hatred. Rene Descartes viewed hate as an awareness that something is bad, combined with an urge to withdraw from it. Baruch Spinoza defined hate as a type of pain that is due to an external cause. Aristotle viewed hate as a desire for the annihilation of an object that is incurable by time. Finally, David Hume believed that hate is an irreducible feeling that is not definable at all.
In psychology, Sigmund Freud defined hate as an ego state that wishes to destroy the source of its unhappiness. In a more contemporary definition, the Penguin Dictionary of Psychology defines hate as a "deep, enduring, intense emotion expressing animosity, anger, and hostility towards a person, group, or object." Because hatred is believed to be long-lasting, many psychologists consider it to be more of an attitude or disposition than a (temporary) emotional state.

Suggested reading

  • The Psychology of Hate by Robert Sternberg (Ed.)
  • Hatred: The Psychological Descent into Violence by Willard Gaylin
  • Why We Hate by Jack Levin
  • The Psychology of Good and Evil : Why Children, Adults, and Groups Help and Harm Others by Ervin Staub
  • Prisoners of Hate: The Cognitive Basis of Anger, Hostility, and Violence by Aaron T. Beck
  • Becoming Evil: How Ordinary People Commit Genocide and Mass Killing by James Waller


enmity in Arabic: كراهية
enmity in Breton: Kasoni
enmity in Catalan: Odi
enmity in Danish: Had
enmity in German: Hass
enmity in Estonian: Vihkamine
enmity in Spanish: Odio
enmity in Esperanto: Malamo
enmity in Basque: Gorroto
enmity in French: Haine
enmity in Ido: Odio
enmity in Indonesian: Benci
enmity in Inuktitut: ᐆᒥᓱᑦᑐᖅ/uumisuttuq
enmity in Icelandic: Hatur
enmity in Italian: Odio (sentimento)
enmity in Hebrew: שנאה
enmity in Lithuanian: Neapykanta
enmity in Hungarian: Gyűlölet
enmity in Dutch: Haat
enmity in Japanese: 憎悪
enmity in Norwegian: Hat
enmity in Polish: Nienawiść
enmity in Portuguese: Ódio
enmity in Russian: Ненависть
enmity in Simple English: Hate
enmity in Finnish: Viha
enmity in Swedish: Hat
enmity in Yiddish: האס
enmity in Chinese: 怨恨

Synonyms, Antonyms and Related Words

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