\ 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


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

Other Words from friend


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.
Recent Examples on the Web: Noun Then the same thing happened to the wisp’s best friend. Paul Tullis, Town & Country, 11 Aug. 2022 For the friend in your life who has zero chill—i.e., the one that’s perpetually hot, especially come summer—the best cooling gifts can keep their body temperature down, their perspiration from pooling, and, hopefully, bring a smile to their face. Malia Griggs, SELF, 11 Aug. 2022 But the friend who played basketball with Flores on that Monday also saw Flores the day before, on Sunday, and said Flores was already sporting the black eye then. Fox News, 8 Aug. 2022 Bacon, 64, included several personal photos of his family's time with the four-legged furry friend in his Instagram post, including a shot of the They/Them actor cuddling with the pup. Amethyst Tate, Peoplemag, 8 Aug. 2022 Evidently the friend had no appreciation for the rapid approach of the Aug. 10 upland hunting season opener, or the importance of scouting new territory when familiar haunts hadn’t shown much promise. Steve Meyer, Anchorage Daily News, 6 Aug. 2022 For the plant parent friend who loves color, gift these groovy glass watering stakes, which will keep their plants moist while also adding a fun pop of color to the planter. Angela Belt, House Beautiful, 5 Aug. 2022 The friend got an immediate hit to The Chronicle story, and the mystery was solved. Sam Whiting, San Francisco Chronicle, 3 Aug. 2022 The friend said Larry Rudolph had been involved in extramarital affairs and had a girlfriend at the time of his wife's death. Faith Karimi, CNN, 2 Aug. 2022 Recent Examples on the Web: Verb The couple entered the reception and began their first dance to friend Jack Garratt playing a rendition of Sunday Kind of Love by Etta James, backed by the band. Alexandra Macon, Vogue, 14 July 2022 To complete his transformation into Inspector Campbell, the actor turned to friend Liam Neeson. Janaya Wecker, Town & Country, 10 June 2022 Somewhere Good, a platform for audio discussion that launched last month, doesn’t allow users to send each other direct messages or follow or friend each other to minimize abuse and social comparison. Deepa Seetharaman, WSJ, 4 May 2022 The source for this misconception is a letter from Arendt’s teacher and friend the philosopher Karl Jaspers on December 13, 1963. Seyla Benhabib, The New York Review of Books, 24 Feb. 2022 Elizabeth Leach, left, and Lo Peterson, right, talk to friend Sam Jeet about their recent trips, while sitting in the living room of Lo's home. The Salt Lake Tribune, 15 Apr. 2022 Also introduced into evidence was a WhatsApp message dated January 20, 2020, from Bryan to friend, read aloud in court. Pamela Kirkland, CNN, 16 Feb. 2022 Shortly after, Renacci adviser Brad Parscale responded on Facebook, saying Lindell had promised his endorsement to friend Knopp in text messages. Jessie Balmert, The Enquirer, 14 Feb. 2022 In a deleted scene from the most recent episode of her YouTube series, Who's in My Bathroom?, the model turned to friend Rosie Huntington-Whiteley for advice on motherhood. Emily Tannenbaum, Glamour, 11 Dec. 2021 See More

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.

First Known Use of friend


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


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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Dictionary Entries Near friend



friend at court

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Statistics for friend

Last Updated

15 Aug 2022

Cite this Entry

“Friend.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 19 Aug. 2022.

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More Definitions for friend


\ ˈfrend How to pronounce friend (audio) \

Kids Definition of friend

 (Entry 1 of 2)

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


friended; friending

Kids Definition of friend (Entry 2 of 2)

: to include (someone) in a list of designated friends on a social networking site

More from Merriam-Webster on friend

Nglish: Translation of friend for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of friend for Arabic Speakers


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