be·​friend | \ bi-ˈfrend How to pronounce befriend (audio) \
befriended; befriending; befriends

Definition of befriend

transitive verb

: to become or act as a friend to befriended the new student

Examples of befriend in a Sentence

He befriended the new student.
Recent Examples on the Web Frank, arraigned on a charge of theft, is defended by Bill Bufalino (Ray Romano) and befriended by Bill’s cousin Russell (Joe Pesci), who becomes a soul mate for life. Anthony Lane, The New Yorker, "Remembrance of Kills Past in “The Irishman”," 25 Oct. 2019 After losing her entire family in the concentration camps, Mary was befriended by Joseph Rafalowicz's Uncle Harry (in a displaced persons' camp)., "Mary Rafalowicz," 17 Oct. 2019 Seymour is befriended by a garden shop owner who frequently reminds him of his inadequacy, Pranian said. Phil Rockrohr,, "Niles West students look to balance ‘creepy and comedy’ in ‘Little Shop of Horrors’," 17 Oct. 2019 Gordy and Brendan are befriended by an older gay couple, Wally (Corey Dorris) and Oliver (Gehringer). Los Angeles Times, "Review: ‘The Canadians’ at South Coast Repertory sets course with a queer ‘Love Boat’," 7 Oct. 2019 At a club, she was befriended by a young woman about her same age, Natalya Maleshev. Anchorage Daily News, "‘When you are in, you can’t get out’: Women describe how Jeffrey Epstein controlled them," 22 Sep. 2019 Shia LaBeouf also finds a solid outlet for his idiosyncratic tastes and intensity, playing a troubled laborer-on-the-run befriended by this steadfast dreamer. Tom Russo,, "In ‘Peanut Butter Falcon,’ it’s the WWE or bust," 21 Aug. 2019 Threatened by Ray's volatile comrade (Patrick) but befriended by the former's wife (Cathy Moriarty), Freddy decides to take action and bring in Rapaport's character, which leads to a high-noon showdown with Ray and his goons. David Hunter, The Hollywood Reporter, "'Cop Land': THR's 1997 Review," 15 Aug. 2019 The exiled cub is then befriended by Timon (Billy Eichner, improvising amusingly) and Pumbaa (Seth Rogen), a meerkat and a warthog who escort him to their Edenic jungle home. N.b., The Economist, "“The Lion King” remake opts for style over substance," 19 July 2019

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'befriend.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of befriend

1559, in the meaning defined above

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Statistics for befriend

Last Updated

12 Nov 2019

Time Traveler for befriend

The first known use of befriend was in 1559

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More Definitions for befriend


How to pronounce befriend (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of befriend

: to become a friend to (someone)


be·​friend | \ bi-ˈfrend How to pronounce befriend (audio) \
befriended; befriending

Kids Definition of befriend

: to act as a friend to We befriended the new student.

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Comments on befriend

What made you want to look up befriend? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


meddlesome, informal, or unofficial

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