friend

noun
\ ˈfrend How to pronounce friend (audio) \

Definition of friend

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1a : one attached to another by affection or esteem She's my best friend.
2a : one that is not hostile Is he a friend or an enemy?
b : one that is of the same nation, party, or group showbiz friends
3 : one that favors or promotes something (such as a charity) this trend has alarmed friends of the liberal arts— Raymond Walters The friends of the library will host a fund-raiser.
4 : a favored companion
5 capitalized : a member of a Christian sect that stresses Inner Light, rejects sacraments and an ordained ministry, and opposes war

called also Quaker

be friends with
: to have a friendship or friendly relationship with

friend

verb
friended; friending; friends

Definition of friend (Entry 2 of 2)

transitive verb

1 : to act as the friend of : befriend
2 : to include (someone) in a list of designated friends on a person's social networking site

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Other Words from friend

Noun

friendless \ ˈfren(d)-​ləs How to pronounce friendless (audio) \ adjective
friendlessness noun

Synonyms & Antonyms for friend

Synonyms: Noun

Antonyms: Noun

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What's the difference between friends and acquaintances?

People often distinguish between an acquaintance and a friend, holding that the former should be used primarily to refer to someone with whom one is not especially close. Many of the earliest uses of acquaintance were in fact in reference to a person with whom one was very close, but the word is now generally reserved for those who are known only slightly.

Acquaintance is often found paired with nodding. Although nodding acquaintance sounds like it describes a person who is known just enough to nod at, it tends to be used instead to refer to a thing or field with which one has a small amount of knowledge or familiarity (and this is the meaning that the phrase has had since its introduction to the language in the early 19th century).

Examples of friend in a Sentence

Noun … she … got a job, made friends and managed to write a novel that hit the best-seller lists and stayed there … — Garrison Keillor, New York Times Book Review, 11 June 2006 Over the last couple of years I have experienced moments of disbelief when I meet my friends in public. They look older than I think they should. — Alice Munro, In the Stacks, 2002 Never had a friend like that before or since. Never laughed so hard in my life as I did with Manny. — Philip Roth, American Pastoral, 1997 I'd like you to meet my friend. He's no friend of mine.
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Recent Examples on the Web: Noun Known as one of the more laidback pets in the shelter, the wrinkly pup is quite the couch potato who loves taking it easy on walks, snuggling with his friends and simply just relaxing. Katherine Fritcke, azcentral, "Ludo and more pets up for adoption in Phoenix-area shelters this week," 6 Dec. 2019 Spend time with your friends or get out of the house this evening. Magi Helena, oregonlive, "Horoscope for Dec. 6, 2019: Taurus, don’t mix work and play today; Scorpio, beware of asking too many questions," 6 Dec. 2019 An 84-year-old woman was killed in a Novato house fire that sparked late Wednesday, hours after the woman had been out shopping with friends, authorities said. Alejandro Serrano, SFChronicle.com, "84-year-old woman killed in Novato house fire," 5 Dec. 2019 One of its newest headsets, the AW510H, makes a great gift for anyone interested in e-sports and or who simply plays online with friends. Lisa Marie Segarra, Fortune, "Gift Guide: Winning Presents for the Video Gamers on Your List," 5 Dec. 2019 The estimate breaks down into $659 for gifts for family and friends, $227 for food and decorations, and $162 for non-gift items for yourself or your family. Susan Tompor, Detroit Free Press, "Peloton offers a good holiday shopping exercise for thinking before buying," 5 Dec. 2019 This was probably how Conrad acted with all his friends. Maureen Lee Lenker, EW.com, "Preview two swoony queer romances destined to capture your heart in 2020," 4 Dec. 2019 Jon Strutzenberg, who lives near Rockford, attended with friends to support his husband of three years, Shaun, who is from Australia. Lisa Cisneros, chicagotribune.com, "Newcomers from 34 nations become Americans at naturalization ceremony," 4 Dec. 2019 Keep things unfussy with an oversized menswear blazer and this look is versatile enough to wear from your first morning meeting to a holiday dinner out with friends. Abby Kalicka, Harper's BAZAAR, "The Chicest Ways to Style Your Jeans This Holiday Season," 3 Dec. 2019 Recent Examples on the Web: Verb Played by real life friends Jason Mewes and Smith respectively, the characters became a regular feature in many of Smith’s films. Nina Metz, chicagotribune.com, "My worst moment: Kevin Smith and the humiliating experience on an airplane that led to ‘Jay and Silent Bob Reboot’," 16 Oct. 2019 Arguments flared; Facebook friends were un-friended. BostonGlobe.com, "What’s better left unsaid in Bellingham? Politics - The Boston Globe," 6 Oct. 2019 The accounts also friended and followed other accounts in the target country. Ben Popken, NBC News, "Trolls for hire: Russia's freelance disinformation firms offer propaganda with a professional touch," 1 Oct. 2019 Soloism is a response, even a solution, to a hyper-stimulated, over-friended, burned-out generation that quietly desires to just be, but doesn’t quite know how. Sarah Rabia, Quartz, "There is an important difference between aloneness and loneliness," 19 Sep. 2019 Or give yourself and friends a culinary treat and creekside dining at the nearby and acclaimed La Forêt. Monica Lander, The Mercury News, "Sponsored: Retreat to this light, airy custom-built Almaden Valley home," 10 Sep. 2019 Fields, a homeless musician who friends knew as Darrell, died of his injuries a short time later. James Queally, Los Angeles Times, "Two men accused of setting blaze at Eagle Rock homeless encampment that grew into brush fire," 3 Sep. 2019 His final start at quarterback with the Cougars came in 2015 when he was pulled during a Homecoming game in front of family and friends his senior year. J.c. Carnahan, orlandosentinel.com, "Orlando native Luke Poorman vying to make impact after winning back-to-back football championships," 13 Sep. 2019 That my son and his knucklehead friends collapse with laughter at Menery’s sports clips gives me traces of hope. Los Angeles Times, "The Middle Ages: In a year of trauma, finally some laughter and tears of joy," 12 Sep. 2019

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'friend.' 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 friend

Noun

before the 12th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1a

Verb

13th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for friend

Noun and Verb

Middle English frend, from Old English frēond; akin to Old High German friunt friend, Old English frēon to love, frēo free

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Time Traveler for friend

Time Traveler

The first known use of friend was before the 12th century

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Statistics for friend

Last Updated

9 Dec 2019

Cite this Entry

“Friend.” The Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster Inc., https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/friend?pronunciation&lang=en_us&dir=f&file=friend01. Accessed 12 December 2019.

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More Definitions for friend

friend

noun
How to pronounce friend (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of friend

: a person who you like and enjoy being with
: a person who helps or supports someone or something (such as a cause or charity)

friend

noun
\ ˈfrend How to pronounce friend (audio) \

Kids Definition of friend

1 : a person who has a strong liking for and trust in another person
2 : a person who is not an enemy friend or foe
3 : a person who helps or supports something She was a friend to environmental causes.

Other Words from friend

friendless \ -​ləs \ adjective

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More from Merriam-Webster on friend

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for friend

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with friend

Spanish Central: Translation of friend

Nglish: Translation of friend for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of friend for Arabic Speakers

Comments on friend

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