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, 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

At his sentencing in July 2017, Fritz apologized to his friends, family, co-workers and then to McMillan, but only for taking her to a hotel. Tom Jackman, chicagotribune.com, "In police sexual misconduct case, Michigan woman sues officer she accused of assault," 13 July 2018 Swire sings the importance of talking to our friends, because no one has to be alone, especially not when a rhythm like this calls us all to the floor. Kat Bein, Billboard, "deadmau5's 'mau5ville: level 1' Brings A Range Of Sounds, Emotions: Listen," 13 July 2018 One of his best friends died in a motorcycle accident. Erin Mccarthy, Philly.com, "Dean Finocchiaro: A free-spirited daredevil with 'a big heart'," 13 July 2018 There’s the young dancer who has spent a decade searching for the men who killed her father and a disgraced knight who is looking for redemption after being betrayed by his best friend. Andrew Webster, The Verge, "Octopath Traveler is a modern take on classic Final Fantasy on the Nintendo Switch," 12 July 2018 My thoughts turn to my friends whose coffins were draped in our flag. Katy Bergen, kansascity, "Public art or defaced flag? KU art series draws ire from governor, other politicians," 11 July 2018 His friend, Ernest Stuart, who needed to sell the knives to the public, came up with a catchier name: stainless steel. Jonathan Schifman, Popular Mechanics, "The Entire History of Steel," 9 July 2018 With love always and forever, Mom, Ryan, Joe, Reilly, Jack, Cooper, and all of your very dear friends and family. Hartford Courant, courant.com, "MICHAEL JOSEPH KEENAN," 14 July 2018 In this episode, one of Nancy's friends climbs a beautiful tree in the neighborhood cul-de-sac. Taylor Seely, USA TODAY, "Exclusive: Watch this 'Fancy Nancy' sneak-peek clip before show premieres on Disney Junior Friday, July 13," 12 July 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

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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