Foe vs Fiend - What's the difference?

foe | fiend |

In context|obsolete|lang=en terms the difference between foe and fiend

is that foe is (obsolete) hostile while fiend is (obsolete) an enemy, unfriend, or foe.

As nouns the difference between foe and fiend

is that foe is an enemy or foe can be a unit of energy equal to 1044 joules while fiend is (obsolete) an enemy, unfriend, or foe.

As a adjective foe

is (obsolete) hostile.



Etymology 1

(etyl) fo 'foe; hostile', from earlier ifo 'foe', from (etyl) 'to hate, be hostile' (compare Middle Irish oech 'enemy, fiend', Latin piget 'he is annoying', Lithuanian piktas ‘evil’, Albanian pis ‘dirty, scoundrel’).


(en adjective)
  • (obsolete) Hostile.
  • *, vol.1, ch.23:
  • he, I say, could passe into Affrike onely with two simple ships or small barkes, to commit himselfe in a strange and foe countrie, to engage his person, under the power of a barbarous King.


    (en noun)
  • An enemy.
  • * {{quote-magazine, date=2013-06-29, volume=407, issue=8842, page=55, magazine=(The Economist)
  • , title= Travels and travails , passage=Even without hovering drones, a lurking assassin, a thumping score and a denouement, the real-life story of Edward Snowden, a rogue spy on the run, could be straight out of the cinema. But, as with Hollywood, the subplots and exotic locations may distract from the real message: America’s discomfort and its foe s’ glee.}}
    * (enemy) adversary, enemy, opponent
    * (enemy) ally, friend

    Etymology 2

    An acronym of "fifty-one ergs", coined by Gerald Brown of Stony Brook University in his work with Hans Bethe.


    (en noun)
  • A unit of energy equal to 1044 joules.
  • Anagrams




    Alternative forms

    * (l)


    (en noun)
  • (obsolete) An enemy, unfriend, or foe.
  • (religious, archaic) The enemy of mankind, specifically, the Devil; Satan.
  • * 1971 , , Religion and the Decline of Magic , Folio Society 2012, p. 35:
  • At the confirmation ceremony the bishop would lay his hands on the child and tie around its forehead a linen band […]. This was believed to strengthen him against the assaults of the fiend […].
  • A devil or demon; a malignant or diabolical being; an evil spirit.
  • * 1845 , E.A. Poe, "The Raven"
  • "Be that word our sign of parting, bird or fiend! "
  • A very evil person
  • (informal) An addict or fanatic
  • a jazz fiend

    Derived terms

    * fienddom/fiendom * fiendful * fiendhood * fiendish * fiendkin * fiendlike * fiendling * fiendly * fiendness * fiendship * dope fiend


    * monster


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