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 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.
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Recent Examples on the Web: Noun Porter called the award a great honor and said the most rewarding part of it is that her friend and coworker is healthy and doing well. Bob Dohr, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, 2 June 2021 And my friend who mentioned the rumors of Desert Trip 2 started with Zeppelin. Steve Baltin, Forbes, 1 June 2021 Keep up the good work, and the Universe will continue to bless you in many new ways! April 2021 Two of Pentacles: Multitasking is not your strong suit, my Venusian friend. Meghan Rose, Glamour, 1 June 2021 Matt Tooker, my second in command, the team’s anchor and my close friend, had walked to the edge before he was shot twice in the arm. New York Times, 31 May 2021 The cause was glioblastoma, a form of brain cancer, said her friend Diane Dodge. Washington Post, 31 May 2021 But true to Toyota’s contention, the players instinctively, and with a little help from their conductor friend, toned that down as they got used to the acoustic. Mark Swed, Los Angeles Times, 30 May 2021 Almost every member of Team Penske rushed out to meet Castroneves, including former teammate Will Power, who saw the final scoring pylon and had no idea his longtime friend won. Jenna Fryer, Star Tribune, 30 May 2021 Coincidentally, my friend from childhood moved only a few miles from our daughter. Irv Erdos Columnist, San Diego Union-Tribune, 30 May 2021 Recent Examples on the Web: Verb The pair have also shared a beachfront villa next door to friend George Clooney in Los Cabos, Mexico. Nicholas Rice, PEOPLE.com, 5 Jan. 2021 With those two gone, the show is down to only five cast members — plus Sutton Stracke, who was demoted from Housewife to friend almost as quickly as she was hired. Ineye Komonibo, refinery29.com, 26 Oct. 2020 This destination is ideal for any type of traveler, from couples to friend groups to families. Molly O'brien, Travel + Leisure, 13 June 2020 Shandling would quickly go from Apatow's boss and idol to friend. Derek Lawrence, EW.com, 11 June 2020 The Leslie Knope of 2020 multitasks through our global pandemic, phone-a-friending all her old co-workers from her office at the Department of the Interior. Darren Franich, EW.com, 1 May 2020 Yaide plans to return to his apartment in the Mission District, which friends maintained during his time in detention, Carmona-Cruz said. Tatiana Sanchez, SFChronicle.com, 16 Apr. 2020 The Queen of Hearts rules Wonderland and gives Alice and friends a hard time. Francisco Guzman And Saeed Ahmed, CNN, 28 Feb. 2020 For insight into prospective jurors’ thinking, lawyers have taken to scouring their public social media postings, Hoffmeister said, which is fine under court rules as long as the lawyers don’t follow or friend them or send them messages. Washington Post, 7 Jan. 2020

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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Time Traveler for friend

Time Traveler

The first known use of friend was before the 12th century

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Statistics for friend

Last Updated

4 Jun 2021

Cite this Entry

“Friend.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/friend. Accessed 12 Jun. 2021.

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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

 (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

friend

verb
friended; friending

Kids Definition of friend (Entry 2 of 2)

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

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