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

alter ego, amigo, buddy, chum, compadre, comrade, confidant, confidante, crony, familiar, intimate, mate [chiefly British], musketeer, pal

Antonyms: Noun

enemy, foe

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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

These pretended friends do not have Georgia’s best interests at heart. The Economist, "Russia plays games with Georgia," 6 July 2019 Layton, Cohen’s friend, recalls that all the children in a family Cohen knew on Hydra died off one by one, via suicide or alcohol or drugs. Kyle Smith, National Review, "Leonard Cohen, the Male Feminist Who Mistreated Women," 5 July 2019 The two friends accompanied Meghan to Wimbledon on Thursday. Lucy Wood, Marie Claire, "Why the Queen Will Not Attend Archie Harrison's Christening This Weekend," 5 July 2019 Each of my parents’ many friends and acquaintances brought a casserole. Jeanne Phillips, SFChronicle.com, "Dear Abby: Matriarch uses inheritance to keep her family in line," 5 July 2019 About a dozen friends greeted him, and volunteers hosed him off with cold water. Beth Bragg, Anchorage Daily News, "Oregon runner Max King gains royalty status with Mount Marathon men’s victory," 5 July 2019 North Korea or China may go from enemy to partner to friend on a whim, but there is one enemy whom Trump has consistently, obsessively described as an existential threat: the immigrant. Masha Gessen, The New Yorker, "Donald Trump’s “Inoffensive” War on Reality," 5 July 2019 PetSmart PetsHotel locations have even given dog-friendly ice cream to four-legged friends. Dallas News, "What to buy in July — and what to skip," 4 July 2019 That evening, friends encouraged them to stay and experience the neighborhood. Kelsey Murrietta, azcentral, "F-16 pilot and wife seek to put down roots in Scottsdale's DC Ranch. Take a look inside," 4 July 2019

Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

The two hung out at the event, alongside a whole bunch of other people Jeffree is no longer friends with. Kelsey Stiegman, Seventeen, "A Definitive Timeline of James Charles and Jeffree Star's Friendship and Messy Feud," 14 May 2019 Like the Clarks, the Missigs have a track friends network that has expanded to include people across the country. Mike Hembree, USA TODAY, "How some NASCAR fans are building friendships by taking life on the road," 18 June 2018 But unlike her It girl friends Kendall and Gigi, Hailey doesn’t have a go-to signature look. Tina Ferraro, Teen Vogue, "The Beauty Evolution of Hailey Baldwin: From Girl-Next-Door to Major Model," 10 July 2018 Finally tonight, don't forget to friend me on Facebook and follow me on Twitter and on Instagram @judge_jeanine. Fox News, "Judge Jeanine: The rise of socialism," 1 July 2018 The couples friended each other on Facebook and swapped contact information. Hannah Natanson, BostonGlobe.com, "A storm was ruining this beach wedding. Then a total stranger made the bride an offer," 12 July 2018 The couples friended each other on Facebook and swapped contact information. Hannah Natanson, Washington Post, "A storm was ruining this beach wedding. Then a total stranger made the bride an offer.," 12 July 2018 The next event will be July 9—tonight—and will have a speed-friending theme. Andrea Thompson, Chicago Reader, "Arts / Books / Visual Art / Gender Issues / LGBTQ+ Nerds unite at Challengers for Women’s Comics Night," 9 July 2018 Anthony knew Weldon’s girlfriend, who friends and court documents say was the woman who told police Weldon beat her, raped her, and hit with the hammer. Laura Crimaldi, BostonGlobe.com, "Before kidnapping charges, Stewart Weldon cast a long shadow in Springfield," 17 June 2018

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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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

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More from Merriam-Webster on friend

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with friend

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for 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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