Merriam-Webster’s Word of the Day for July 3, 2021 is:

inimical • ih-NIM-ih-kul  • adjective

1 : being adverse often by reason of hostility or malevolence

2 a : having the disposition of an enemy : hostile

b : reflecting or indicating hostility : unfriendly


“We’ve walked around the beautiful island as the often inimical sea sprayed the granite rocks and we’ve enjoyed an ice cream or a Devonshire tea and walked back, windswept and happy.” — Peter Goers, The Advertiser (Australia), 15 May 2021

“For the first time in months, the outside wasn’t inimical and I didn’t have to don protective clothing to be in it; I could walk straight out, as I was, and feel comfortable and relaxed.” — Melissa Harrison, The New Statesman, 3 Mar. 2021

Did you know?

In inimical, one finds both a friend and an enemy. The word descends from Latin inimicus, which combines amicus, meaning “friend,” with the negative prefix in-, meaning “not.” In current English, inimical rarely describes a person, however. Instead, it is generally used to describe forces, concepts, or situations that are in some way harmful or hostile. For example, high inflation may be called “inimical” to economic growth. Inimicus is also an ancestor of enemy, whereas amicus gave English the much more congenial amicable (meaning “friendly” or “peaceful”) and amiable (meaning “agreeable” or “friendly”).