Meaning of FRIEND in English


I. ˈfrend noun

( -s )

Etymology: Middle English frend, from Old English frēond; akin to Old High German friunt friend, relative, Old Norse frændi blood relative, friend, Gothic frijonds friend; all from the present participle of a Germanic verb represented by Old English frēogan, frēon to love, Old Saxon friohan, friehan, Old Norse frjā, Gothic frijon; akin to Old English frēo free — more at free


a. : one that seeks the society or welfare of another whom he holds in affection, respect, or esteem or whose companionship and personality are pleasurable : an intimate associate especially when other than a lover or relative — often used as a form of address

b. : acquaintance


a. : one not hostile or not an enemy

b. : one that is of the same nation, party, or other group and whose friendly feelings are assumed or from whom sympathy or cooperation is expected

3. : one that gives assistance or that favors or promotes something (as a cause, institution, or project)

friends of divorce and birth control, or critics of denominational education — Paul Blanshard

the inexhaustible friend of all good causes — Van Wyck Brooks

this trend has alarmed friends of the liberal arts — Raymond Walters b. 1885

nature is still the painter's nearest friend — F.J.Mather

4. now chiefly Scotland : kinsman


a. obsolete : paramour

b. : a favored date : a boyfriend or girlfriend : sweetheart

6. capitalized : one of a religious group of Christians that lay special stress on the guidance of the Holy Spirit, that reject outward rites and an ordained ministry, that practice simplicity of dress and speech, and that have a long tradition of actively working for peace and opposing war — called also Quaker

7. : a troublesome acquaintance : one causing or likely to cause annoyance

has your friend been up bothering you lately


acquaintance , intimate , confidant : friend applies to a person one has regarded with liking and a degree of respect and has known for a time in a pleasurable relationship neither notably intimate nor dependent wholly on business or professional ties

a friend is one who knows all about us, but is loyal to us just the same — C.A.Dial

a companion loves some agreeable qualities which a man may possess, but a friend loves the man himself — James Boswell

acquaintance is likely to indicate one known, usually not unfavorably, with less familiarity, closeness, fellowship, and well-wishing than friend

you understand that I am not their friend. I am only a holiday acquaintance — Joseph Conrad

intimate implies a closeness precluding reserve or reservation

a few intimates in whose critical judgment he had confidence — Allen Johnson

confidant (applicable to persons of either sex, although the feminine form confidante is still used) indicates a person in whom one confides secrets, usually but not necessarily an intimate

the same detective and his friend and confidant, Dr. Watson — A.C.Ward

could she make a confidant of such a man? Something in her yearned to unburden itself in a torrent of pitiful words — J.C.Powys

- be friends with

- make friends with

II. transitive verb

( -ed/-ing/-s )

Etymology: Middle English frenden, from frend, n.

1. obsolete : to make friends of : join as friends

2. : to act as the friend of : befriend , aid , serve

and I will friend you, if I may, in the dark and cloudy day — A.E.Housman

Webster's New International English Dictionary.      Новый международный словарь английского языка Webster.