An implacable or malicious foe; one who is diabolically wicked or cruel; an infernal being; applied specifically to the devil or a demon. "Into this wild abyss the wary fiend Stood on the brink of Hell and looked a while." (Milton) "O woman! woman! when to ill thy mind Is bent, all hell contains no fouler fiend." (Pope)

Origin: OE. Fend, find, fiend, feond, fiend, foe, AS. Feond; akin to OS. Fiond, D. Vijand enemy, OHG. Fiant, G. Feind, Icel. Fjand, Sw. & Dan. Fiende, Goth. Fijands; orig. Of a verb meaning to hate, AS. Feon, feogan, OHG. Fin, Goth. Fijan, Skr. Piy to scorn; prob. Akin to E. Feud a quarrel. 81. Cf. Foe, Friend.

(01 Mar 1998)

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