In literature, an archenemy (sometimes spelled as arch-enemy) or archnemesis is the main enemy of someone. In fiction, it is a character who is the protagonist's, commonly a hero's, most prominent and most-known enemy.
An archenemy may also be referred to as an archrival, archfoe, archvillain, or archnemesis. However, an archenemy may also be distinguished from a nemesis, with the latter being an enemy whom the hero cannot defeat (or who defeats the hero), even while not being a longstanding or consistent enemy to the hero.
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- Wicaksono, Rachel. "BBC World Service | Learning English | Ask about English". BBC. Retrieved 26 June 2008.
- "Definition of ARCHRIVAL". merriam-webster.com. Retrieved 11 October 2019.
- "Definition of ARCHFOE". merriam-webster.com.
- "Definition of ARCHVILLAIN". merriam-webster.com. Retrieved 11 October 2019.
- "Definition of ARCHNEMESIS". merriam-webster.com.
- Sage Michael, How to Become a Superhero: the Ultimate Guide to the Ultimate You! (2011), p. 228.