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  1. Boris Tatarenko's Avatar
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    #1

    enemy and foe

    Hello.

    Is there any significant difference between them? I've looked up several dictionaries and they said they're synonyms.

    If they're synonyms for you as well what do you think about these words: foeman, adversary, antagonist. Can I say they are synonyms too?
    Thanks.
    Please, correct all my mistakes. I should know English perfectly and if you show me my mistakes I will achieve my dream a little bit faster. A lot of thanks.

    Not a teacher nor a native speaker.

    • Member Info
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    #2

    Re: enemy and foe

    Quote Originally Posted by Boris Tatarenko View Post
    Hello.

    Is there any significant difference between them? I've looked up several dictionaries and they said they're synonyms.

    If they're synonyms for you as well what do you think about these words: foeman, adversary, antagonist. Can I say they are synonyms too?
    Thanks.
    No, I don't believe so. A foeman is an old term and essential means the same as foe. An adversary could be a friend who is competing against you. A person could be an antagonist without being an enemy.

  2. probus's Avatar
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    #3

    Re: enemy and foe

    Enemy is the usual workaday term. Foe and foeman are literary and perhaps a little archaic. Adversary and antagonist tend to be more personal than enemy. Boxers and lawyers are adversaries in the ring or the courtroom but may be friends outside those arenas. Antagonism is a property of an individual only, while enmity is often collective.
    Last edited by probus; 16-Feb-2014 at 04:49.

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