Definition of friend in English:

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Pronunciation: /frend/


1A person whom one knows and with whom one has a bond of mutual affection, typically exclusive of sexual or family relations.
Example sentences
  • This recipe comes from a close friend of mine with whom I worked when I was living in London.
  • Make an effort to cultivate effective relationships with family, friends and colleagues
  • He will be remembered with much affection by his family and close friends.
ally, associate;
sister, brother;
best friend, kindred spirit, bosom buddy, bosom friend
informal pal, chum, sidekick, crony, main man, mate, buddy, bud, amigo, compadre, homeboy, homegirl, homie, dawg, gal pal, BF, BFF
informal, plural peeps
archaic compeer
1.1A person who acts as a supporter of a cause, organization, or country by giving financial or other help: join the Friends of Guilford Free Library
More example sentences
  • But it might not now happen for another year, a member of Friends of East Park fears.
  • The Friends of St Mary's Church was set up in 1998 to raise money to maintain the church.
  • Part of the funds raised by the sale of the book will be donated to the Friends of St Peter's Church.
1.2A person who is not an enemy or who is on the same side: she was unsure whether he was friend or foe
More example sentences
  • Enemies become friends and friends become enemies during a surprising turn of events.
  • There are enemies, friends, foes, and also potential friends and potential enemies.
  • The causes we fight for among friends will be the causes we fight for before enemies.
1.3A familiar or helpful thing: he settled for that old friend the compensation grant
More example sentences
  • They covet its 8,000 objects as old friends and talk about them with familiar candour.
1.4(Often as a polite form of address or in ironic reference) an acquaintance or a stranger one comes across: my friends, let me introduce myself
More example sentences
  • You are responsible, my friend, for one of the most memorable shots from that day.
  • Oh, Mr. Grohl - waxing has nothing to do with unwanted body hair, my friend.
  • There's more to know about fonts than you ever thought possible, my friend.
1.5A contact associated with a social networking website: all of a sudden you’ve got 50 friends online who need to stay connected
More example sentences
  • The only thing is Melissa came across me via this blog rather than from within Myspace itself, but I friended her anyway because she seems nice.
  • You have friended someone because of their blog icon.
  • I've friended you all, but haven't seen anyone looking for games recently.
2 (Friend) A member of the Religious Society of Friends; a Quaker.
Example sentences
  • At the Society of Friends, he would put his arm around newcomers and encourage them into the group.


[with object]
1Add (someone) to a list of contacts associated with a social networking website: I am friended by 29 people who I have not friended back
More example sentences
  • I "friended" some of the people I used to know "in real life" on Facebook.
  • With very few exceptions, if I don't know you I don't friend you.
2 archaic Befriend (someone).



be (or make) friends with

Be (or become) on good or affectionate terms with (someone).
Example sentences
  • Right away you notice she's the type of girl everyone wants to be friends with.
  • Did you ever have a friend at school who you though you'd be friends with for ever?
  • My friend said he was friends with the owners and said it wouldn't be that much money.

a friend at court

A person in a position to use their influence on one’s behalf.
Example sentences
  • I didn't want to say good bye to Bess, for I doubted that I would have such a friend at court.
  • We had a friend at court, one that secured for me two meetings with Harold Wilson.
  • In master Daniel I had a friend at court, who would sometimes give me a cake, and who kept me well informed as to their guests and their entertainments.

a friend in need is a friend indeed

proverb A person who helps at a difficult time is a truly reliable person.
Example sentences
  • As the English saying goes; a friend in need is a friend indeed.
  • First she must help the ant because a friend in need is a friend indeed and she can find another worm soon.
  • We all have been hearing from our childhood days that a friend in need is a friend indeed.

friends in high places

People in senior positions who are able and willing to use their influence on one’s behalf.
Example sentences
  • I had no influence, no friends in high places, no well-connected parents.
  • Fortunately, Sheen had friends in high places.
  • I have absolutely no doubt that time, and a little help from friends in high places, will create the necessary conditions for eventual acquittals.

with friends like ——, who needs enemies?

Used to suggest that a supposed friend or ally of a particular person has acted against the best interests of that person: with friends like this guy, who needs enemies?
More example sentences
  • A journalist thundered "with friends like Britain, who needs enemies?"
  • With friends like them, who needs enemies?
  • With friends like this he hardly needs enemies.


Old English frēond, of Germanic origin; related to Dutch vriend and German Freund, from an Indo-European root meaning 'to love', shared by free.

  • In the Old English poem Beowulf, the king's great hall is described as being filled with friends. This is the first recorded use of the word, which is from an ancient root meaning ‘to love’ that is shared by free. The proverb a friend in need is a friend indeed can be traced back in English to the 11th century. More recent is your flexible friend, that faithful plastic companion on many a shopping trip. The slogan was used for the credit card Access from 1981.

Words that rhyme with friend

amend, append, apprehend, ascend, attend, befriend, bend, blend, blende, commend, comprehend, condescend, contend, defriend, depend, emend, end, expend, extend, fend, forfend, impend, interdepend, lend, mend, misapprehend, misspend, offend, on-trend, Oostende, Ostend, perpend, portend, rend, reprehend, scrag-end, send, spend, subtend, suspend, tail end, tend, transcend, trend, underspend, unfriend, upend, vend, weekend, wend

For editors and proofreaders

Syllabification: friend

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