\ 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


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

Other Words from friend


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.
Recent Examples on the Web: Noun Yeah, exactly, Gil Birmingham, a good friend of mine is on that show. John Benson, cleveland, 31 July 2022 Latoya Lewis, a friend of one of the victims’ families, who helped organize the Saturday event, called on the community to watch out for one another’s children. Alexander Thompson,, 30 July 2022 Patricia Smith, a friend of Kelley’s for 30 years, also is homeless and said her father was a Navy veteran. Gary Warth, San Diego Union-Tribune, 29 July 2022 McGovern, an inside linebackers coach with the Chicago Bears last year, replaced another longtime friend of Kelly in Jerry Azzinaro. Dylan Hernández, Los Angeles Times, 29 July 2022 The defense started the day by speaking with Ayanna Williams, a childhood friend of Ward who had been close to him beyond high school. Arkansas Online, 29 July 2022 Our daughter, a close friend of the bride, is on bed rest in the last two weeks of pregnancy. Jacobina Martin, Washington Post, 29 July 2022 The film is believed to be a passion project for Taylor-Johnson, who was a close friend of Winehouse’s. Manori Ravindran, Variety, 28 July 2022 Their public displays of affection follow the beginnings of an apparent feud between the couple and Hudson, a former friend of Barker's who makes music under the moniker Huddy (formerly Lil Huddy). Rachel Desantis,, 27 July 2022 Recent Examples on the Web: Verb The couple entered the reception and began their first dance to friend Jack Garratt playing a rendition of Sunday Kind of Love by Etta James, backed by the band. Alexandra Macon, Vogue, 14 July 2022 To complete his transformation into Inspector Campbell, the actor turned to friend Liam Neeson. Janaya Wecker, Town & Country, 10 June 2022 Somewhere Good, a platform for audio discussion that launched last month, doesn’t allow users to send each other direct messages or follow or friend each other to minimize abuse and social comparison. Deepa Seetharaman, WSJ, 4 May 2022 The source for this misconception is a letter from Arendt’s teacher and friend the philosopher Karl Jaspers on December 13, 1963. Seyla Benhabib, The New York Review of Books, 24 Feb. 2022 Elizabeth Leach, left, and Lo Peterson, right, talk to friend Sam Jeet about their recent trips, while sitting in the living room of Lo's home. The Salt Lake Tribune, 15 Apr. 2022 Also introduced into evidence was a WhatsApp message dated January 20, 2020, from Bryan to friend, read aloud in court. Pamela Kirkland, CNN, 16 Feb. 2022 Shortly after, Renacci adviser Brad Parscale responded on Facebook, saying Lindell had promised his endorsement to friend Knopp in text messages. Jessie Balmert, The Enquirer, 14 Feb. 2022 In a deleted scene from the most recent episode of her YouTube series, Who's in My Bathroom?, the model turned to friend Rosie Huntington-Whiteley for advice on motherhood. Emily Tannenbaum, Glamour, 11 Dec. 2021 See More

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.

First Known Use of friend


before the 12th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1a


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

See more words from the same century

Dictionary Entries Near friend



friend at court

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Statistics for friend

Last Updated

3 Aug 2022

Cite this Entry

“Friend.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 14 Aug. 2022.

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More Definitions for friend


\ 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


friended; friending

Kids Definition of friend (Entry 2 of 2)

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

More from Merriam-Webster on friend

Nglish: Translation of friend for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of friend for Arabic Speakers


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