friend

noun
\ ˈfrend \

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 \ 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

The Real Housewives of Constantinople, joked one friend—then rent an English-language audio guide at the entrance. Ashlea Halpern, Condé Nast Traveler, "Three Days In Istanbul," 28 Dec. 2018 Facebook began the year with a major change: shifting the balance of posts in the News Feed away from publishers and back toward friends. Casey Newton, The Verge, "The Verge 2018 tech report card: Facebook," 26 Dec. 2018 Landed in Reno, now among good friends in beautiful Lake Tahoe. Alissa Walker, Curbed, "Getting around the Bay Area with Chanell Fletcher," 21 Dec. 2018 After the vehicle reveals his true identity as an Autobot, Charlie finds herself in a struggle between her new friend, some Decepticons hunting down Autobots, and a military group spearheaded by John's Agent Jack Burns. Gabe Bergado, Teen Vogue, "Jorge Lendeborg Jr. on the Heart of "Bumblebee," the Importance of "SpongeBob SquarePants," and Impressing His Biggest Critic," 20 Dec. 2018 The office continues to investigate Roger Stone, another close friend of Mr. Trump, for his contacts with the antisecrecy website WikiLeaks. WSJ, "Immigration, Mueller Probe Boosted U.S. Tensions This Year," 18 Dec. 2018 So, while Matt Levine is saying that the interview means Tesla and Musk aren’t complying with the terms of the settlement — well, friends, that can always change. Elizabeth Lopatto, The Verge, "Elon Musk doesn’t respect the SEC, which is still investigating Tesla," 14 Dec. 2018 First there was Julia, Elmo's friend with autism, and then there was Rudy, Abby's step-brother, who arrived with the rest of their blended family. Marisa Lascala, Good Housekeeping, "'Sesame Street' Just Introduced a New Character Who Is Experiencing Homelessness," 13 Dec. 2018 As the years went by, friends and colleagues noticed his deterioration. Linda Marsa, Discover Magazine, "A New Treatment for Alzheimer's? It Starts With Lifestyle," 16 Nov. 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

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 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

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 \

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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