from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

  • n. A personal enemy.
  • n. An enemy in war.
  • n. An adversary; an opponent: a foe of tax reform. See Synonyms at enemy.
  • n. Something that opposes, injures, or impedes: taxes that were the foe of economic development.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • adj. Hostile.
  • n. An enemy.
  • n. A unit of energy equal to 1044 joules.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • n. One who entertains personal enmity, hatred, grudge, or malice, against another; an enemy.
  • n. An enemy in war; a hostile army.
  • n. One who opposes on principle; an opponent; an adversary; an ill-wisher; as, a foe to religion.
  • transitive v. To treat as an enemy.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • n. An enemy; one who entertains hatred, grudge, or malice against another.
  • n. An enemy in war; one of a nation or people at war with another, whether personally inimical or not; a hostile or opposing army; an adversary.
  • n. An opponent; a malevolent or hostile agent or principle: as, a foe to all measures of reform; intemperance is a foe to thrift.
  • n. One who or that which injures, harasses, or hinders anything: as, the climate is a foe to grape-culture.
  • n. Synonyms Antagonist, Opponent, etc. See adversary.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • n. an armed adversary (especially a member of an opposing military force)
  • n. a personal enemy


Middle English fo, from Old English gefā, from fāh, hostile.
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
Middle English fo 'foe; hostile', from earlier ifo 'foe', from Old English ġefāh 'enemy', from fāh 'hostile', from Proto-Germanic *faihaz (cf. Old Frisian fāch 'punishable', Middle High German gevēch 'feuder'), from Proto-Indo-European *peik/k̑- 'to hate, be hostile' (cf. Middle Irish oech 'enemy, fiend', Latin piget 'he is annoying', Lithuanian piktas ‘evil’, Albanian pis ‘dirty, scoundrel’). (Wiktionary)
An acronym of fifty-one ergs (Wiktionary)



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