fiend O.E. feond "enemy, foe," originally prp. of feogan "to hate," from P.Gmc. *fijæjan (Cf. O.Fris. fiand "enemy," O.S. fiond, M.D. viant, Du. vijand "enemy," O.N. fjandi, O.H.G. fiant, Goth. fijands), from PIE root *pe(i)- "to blame, revile" (Cf. Goth. faian "to blame;" see PASSION (Cf. passion)). As spelling suggests, it was originally the opposite of FRIEND (Cf. friend), but the word began to be used in O.E. for "Satan" (as the "enemy of mankind"), which shifted its sense to "diabolical person" (early 13c.). The old sense of the word devolved to FOE (Cf. foe), then to the imported word ENEMY (Cf. enemy). For spelling with -ie- see FIELD (Cf. field). Meaning "devotee (of whatever is indicated)," e.g. dope fiend, is from 1865.

Etymology dictionary. 2014.


Look at other dictionaries:

  • Fiend — Fiend, n. [OE. fend, find, fiend, feond, fiend, foe, AS. fe[ o]nd; akin to OS. f[=i]ond, D. vijand enemy, OHG. f[=i]ant, G. feind, Icel. fj[=a]nd, Sw. & Dan. fiende, Goth. fijands; orig. p. pr. of a verb meaning to hate, AS. fe[ o]n, fe[ o]gan,… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • fiend — [fi:nd] n [: Old English; Origin: feond enemy ] 1.) a very cruel, evil, or violent person ▪ a heartless fiend ▪ Both of them were fighting like fiends. a sex/rape fiend (=one who commits very unpleasant sex attacks) 2.) television/sports/fresh… …   Dictionary of contemporary English

  • fiend — fiend; fiend·ish; fiend·ly; fiend·ish·ly; fiend·ish·ness; …   English syllables

  • fiend — [fēnd] n. [ME fend, feend < OE feond, lit., the one hating, orig. prp. < base of feogan, to hate, akin to Goth fijands < fijan, to hate < IE base * pē(i) , to harm] 1. an evil spirit; devil 2. an inhumanly wicked or cruel person ☆ 3.… …   English World dictionary

  • fiend — [ find ] noun count 1. ) MAINLY LITERARY a very evil person: MONSTER 2. ) INFORMAL someone who is extremely enthusiastic about something: He s a real fresh air fiend …   Usage of the words and phrases in modern English

  • fiend — [n1] dastardly person barbarian, beast, brute, degenerate, demon, devil, diablo*, evil spirit, hellion, imp, little devil*, Mephistopheles, monster, ogre, Satan, savage, serpent, troll; concept 412 Ant. angel, friend fiend [n2] person… …   New thesaurus

  • fiend — ► NOUN 1) an evil spirit or demon. 2) a very wicked or cruel person. 3) informal an enthusiast or devotee: an exercise fiend. ORIGIN Old English, «an enemy, the devil» …   English terms dictionary

  • fiend|ly — «FEEND lee», adjective. Obsolete. devilish; fiendish …   Useful english dictionary

  • fiend — noun Etymology: Middle English, from Old English fīend; akin to Old High German fīant enemy, Sanskrit pīyati he reviles, blames Date: before 12th century 1. a. devil 1 b. demon c. a person of great wickedness or maliciousness 2. a person… …   New Collegiate Dictionary

  • fiend — [[t]fi͟ːnd[/t]] fiends 1) N COUNT If you describe someone as a fiend, you mean that they are extremely wicked or cruel. [WRITTEN] ...such a saint to his patients and such a fiend to his children. Syn: monster 2) N COUNT: n N Fiend can be used… …   English dictionary

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