I'm wondering if there's a term for when a person has an enemy, (for lack of better word) someone who has done this person wrong, for example: slept with this person's spouse, robbed this person, spread serious lies, etc.

Obviously something bad enough that it would be hurtful to know that your boyfriend, girlfriend, close sibling, etc. are either still friends with or have befriended said enemy.

Hopefully this question makes sense I just joined and it's my first question. I also don't understand the tag portion. Not sure what word to put in there.

  • Family are still family - even when they do things we don't agree with.
    – Nigel J
    Commented Mar 15, 2018 at 16:06
  • pragmatic! even close friends and family will disagree. They have no dog in the fight!
    – lbf
    Commented Mar 16, 2018 at 1:05
  • Of course they're still family, although, that wasn't really the question. Commented Mar 20, 2018 at 13:13
  • I would suggest disloyal: acting to hurt someone you are expected to support (Cambridge Dictionary).
    – Bread
    Commented Jun 14, 2018 at 8:54

4 Answers 4


In the same spirit as “disloyal” (mentioned by somebody else), you could say that they betrayed you:

American Heritage Dictionary (betray):

    To give aid or information to an enemy of

or you might say that your friend was being dismissive of your feelings:

American Heritage Dictionary:

    Showing indifference or disregard


You could say that they are their 'adversary', I think that would work. It might not be as visceral as what you're looking for though. 'Nemesis' is also one that comes to mind, but it's one of those words that sounds strange when used un-ironically.




one who pretends to be a friend but is actually an enemy

Although this definition doesn’t account for third party relationships in your question, it is one I would use if I were questioning a siblings relationship with someone who had wronged me: "Why are you friends with my frenemy?". This would make it clear that, although surface relations are cordial, I do not trust that person.

Frenemy does sound informal and colloquial, though, so I also suggest "rival" or "former rival".

  • Thsee are all I could think of as well. Commented Mar 20, 2018 at 13:11
  • @ChallasRose does "frenemy" capture your meaning? I wasn't sure. It seems like you were describing person A and person B have a bad history (and don't speak) but person C is friends with both. The term you use would depend on whether you were speaking as A, B or C. A and B would probably call each other a**eholes. C would describe themselves as a mediator.
    – Pam
    Commented Mar 20, 2018 at 14:24


They have no dog in that fight!

Top definition dog in that fight "I don't have a dog in that fight," means "I don't have a stake in the outcome." Not quite so strong as call somebody who gives a shit. urban dict



Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service and acknowledge you have read our privacy policy.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.