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 friend (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 Steven Witkoff, a New York real estate friend, gave more than $2 million and served as an informal adviser on tax cuts, opioids and reopening businesses during the pandemic. Isaac Arnsdorf, ProPublica, "$17.19M," 9 May 2021 Juan Pedrosa, a Boston chef who worked at restaurants such as Yvonne’s and Lolita, is now opening a restaurant with friend Stephen Devine — in New Hampshire. BostonGlobe.com, "Amid restaurant closures, opportunity on the horizon," 8 May 2021 This friend is an individual who is very type A and is super-organized. Amy Dickinson, oregonlive, "Ask Amy: ‘Save-the-date’ announcement isn’t followed by wedding invite. Now what?," 8 May 2021 From there, a person can build to a visit at an outdoor public space to see that friend or invite them inside the house. Adrianna Rodriguez, USA TODAY, "COVID-19 fear, anxiety continues to hold back fully vaccinated Americans. Where does it come from and how can we overcome it?," 8 May 2021 This friend is an individual who is very type A and is super-organized. Amy Dickinson, Detroit Free Press, "‘Save-the-Date’ doesn’t lead to an invitation," 8 May 2021 The collection of more than 300 species of cactuses was a gift from Walska’s longtime friend Merritt Dunlap. Caron Golden, San Diego Union-Tribune, "Lotusland gardens a dedicated stage for over-the-top botanical beauty," 8 May 2021 This friend is an individual who is very Type A and is super-organized. Amy Dickinson, Star Tribune, "Ask Amy: She saved the date but the wedding invitation didn't arrive," 7 May 2021 Dickson Azalea Park presents an ideal setting for dog walking, exercise, having lunch outdoors or catching up with an old friend. Patrick Connolly, orlandosentinel.com, "Florida Fresh Air: Dickson Azalea Park offers a serene urban oasis," 7 May 2021 Recent Examples on the Web: Verb The pair have also shared a beachfront villa next door to friend George Clooney in Los Cabos, Mexico. Nicholas Rice, PEOPLE.com, "Cindy Crawford and Rande Gerber Purchase $10 Million Waterfront Miami Beach Home: Source," 5 Jan. 2021 With those two gone, the show is down to only five cast members — plus Sutton Stracke, who was demoted from Housewife to friend almost as quickly as she was hired. Ineye Komonibo, refinery29.com, "Bravo’s Real Housewives Of Beverly Hills Franchise Just Scouted Its Very First Asian American Star," 26 Oct. 2020 This destination is ideal for any type of traveler, from couples to friend groups to families. Molly O'brien, Travel + Leisure, "Visit One of These 8 Western U.S. Destinations for a Taste of Traveling Abroad," 13 June 2020 Shandling would quickly go from Apatow's boss and idol to friend. Derek Lawrence, EW.com, "Meet Your Maker: King of Staten Island director Judd Apatow on his biggest influences," 11 June 2020 The Leslie Knope of 2020 multitasks through our global pandemic, phone-a-friending all her old co-workers from her office at the Department of the Interior. Darren Franich, EW.com, "The Parks and Recreation reunion really was something special: Review," 1 May 2020 Yaide plans to return to his apartment in the Mission District, which friends maintained during his time in detention, Carmona-Cruz said. Tatiana Sanchez, SFChronicle.com, "Coronavirus: Gay SF man detained multiple times by ICE ordered to be released amid outbreak," 16 Apr. 2020 The Queen of Hearts rules Wonderland and gives Alice and friends a hard time. Francisco Guzman And Saeed Ahmed, CNN, "Google Doodle celebrates the man behind the Alice in Wonderland illustrations," 28 Feb. 2020 For insight into prospective jurors’ thinking, lawyers have taken to scouring their public social media postings, Hoffmeister said, which is fine under court rules as long as the lawyers don’t follow or friend them or send them messages. Washington Post, "Jury selection in Weinstein case could prove to be drawn-out," 7 Jan. 2020

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

11 May 2021

Cite this Entry

“Friend.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/friend. Accessed 11 May. 2021.

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More Definitions for friend

friend

noun

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

Comments on friend

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