friend

noun
\ ˈfrend \

Definition of friend 

(Entry 1 of 2)

1a : one attached to another by affection or esteem She's my best friend.

b : acquaintance

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 \ adjective
friendlessness noun

Synonyms & Antonyms for friend

Synonyms: Noun

alter ego, amigo, buddy, chum, compadre, comrade, confidant, confidante, crony, familiar, intimate, 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

However, friends and doctors told investigators that Larry appeared to be in good health. Kathleen Joyce, Fox News, "Woman wanted for grand theft goes missing after her husband dies with lethal levels of Benadryl in his system," 14 July 2018 Their parents also escorted Ben and Moriah down the aisle to a chuppah painted by Moriah’s best friend Colleen, an artist. Philly.com, "Philadelphia weddings: Moriah Benjoseph and Ben Nassau," 13 July 2018 One man whose tribute to Ronaldo was particularly heartfelt was Marcelo, the Brazilian left back, who was among the Portuguese superstar's best friends at Madrid. SI.com, "Real Madrid Star Linked With Juventus Move After Promise of Cristiano Ronaldo Reunion," 13 July 2018 The partnership developing the high-rise includes Howard Lorber and Steve Witkoff, both close friends of Trump’s and big-time donors to his campaign. Adam K. Raymond, Daily Intelligencer, "WSJ: Michael Cohen Buys $6.7 Million Tribeca Apartment," 13 July 2018 The power couple got hitched last November in a stunning Tuscan wedding attended by family and close friends—just a few days after the Astros won the World Series (not a bad couple of days for the newlyweds). Krystin Arneson, Glamour, "Kate Upton Just Announced She's Expecting Her First Child," 14 July 2018 This amid widespread concern that the country’s political debate is overheated and even dangerous -- to the point that many voters steer clear of talking politics with family and friends. Dana Blanton, Fox News, "Fox News Poll: Democrats ahead in election enthusiasm, interest -- and the vote," 12 July 2018 Mary Welsh Hemingway, who happily ditched her own journalistic career in London, along with family and friends, was just the answer. Dana Snitzky, Longreads, "Hemingway’s Last Girl," 12 July 2018 People addicted to opioids sometimes get the drugs from the medicine cabinets of families and friends without them knowing. Andrea K. Mcdaniels, baltimoresun.com, "CVS to place opioid disposal containers in its stores," 12 July 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

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 For family and friends the wake services will be held on Wednesday May 30th. at 9:00 am at Firtion- Adams Funeral Services, 76 Broad St. Westfield MA. courant.com, "Dolores E. Cannata," 25 May 2018 By An Angel and Joan of Arcadia-style series about a man who has lost faith only to be seemingly friended by God on Facebook. Kelly Lawler, USA TODAY, "Fall TV trailers: Snap judgments on the new network shows, from 'Magnum P.I.' to 'Charmed'," 18 May 2018 Legal motions, fundraisers and letters to politicians gave Francis Ladege's family and friends a sliver of hope that the South Sudan refugee could stay in America after he had been detained by Immigration and Customs Enforcement. Thomas Novelly, The Courier-Journal, "Atherton High School graduate, a refugee from South Sudan, has been deported by ICE," 12 Apr. 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

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

Verb

see friend entry 1

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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 \

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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Comments on friend

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