Definition of friend in English:



  • 1A person with whom one has a bond of mutual affection, typically one exclusive of sexual or family relations.

    ‘she's a friend of mine’
    ‘we were close friends’
    • ‘This recipe comes from a close friend of mine with whom I worked when I was living in London.’
    • ‘A lucky minority were housed with relatives or family friends who were already established in the UK.’
    • ‘Make an effort to cultivate effective relationships with family, friends and colleagues’
    • ‘He rendered a couple of poems to applause from the audience, most of whom were his friends and relatives.’
    • ‘He has been slowly rebuilding his life with the help of close friends and family.’
    • ‘NASA permits astronauts to take some souvenirs for their family and close friends.’
    • ‘Glenn nearly destroyed my future and relationships with friends and family.’
    • ‘Their home was a very happy place, which family, relatives and friends loved to visit.’
    • ‘Rowly, as he was known to almost everyone, was a close friend to the Kennedy family.’
    • ‘Family, relations and friends can be a source of help and comfort.’
    • ‘They can also supplement an existing home care arrangement provided by family or close friends.’
    • ‘Gerry celebrated the occasion with his family and close friends and a great night was had by all.’
    • ‘The sincere sympathy of the community is extended to her family, relatives and friends on their loss.’
    • ‘Many estate owners do not have family or friends whom they can confidently nominate in their estate plan.’
    • ‘Jason was joined by family relatives and friends for a celebration party in Fallon's Bar.’
    • ‘You stay with close friends and family and treasure a cozy feeling at home.’
    • ‘On the second day, we went to visit a couple of family friends and a relative who are in mourning.’
    • ‘I just don't put enough effort into my relationships with my friends and family.’
    • ‘Those were moments not to be missed, as so many relatives and family friends were present.’
    • ‘He will be remembered with much affection by his family and close friends.’
    companion, boon companion, bosom friend, best friend, close friend, intimate, confidante, confidant, familiar, soul mate, alter ego, second self, shadow, playmate, playfellow, classmate, schoolmate, workmate, ally, comrade, associate
    View synonyms
    1. 1.1 (used as a polite form of address or in ironic reference) an acquaintance or a stranger one comes across.
      ‘my friends, let me introduce myself’
      • ‘There's more to know about fonts than you ever thought possible, my friend.’
      • ‘Let me tell you, my friend, that the kiwi is the only bird in the whole world which does not have wings!’
      • ‘You are responsible, my friend, for one of the most memorable shots from that day.’
      • ‘If you can't find that stuff in life, then you, my friend, don't know much about life!’
      • ‘Oh, Mr. Grohl - waxing has nothing to do with unwanted body hair, my friend.’
      • ‘If you are looking for a pointwise precise answer, my friend, then you won't find it.’
      • ‘And that, my dear friend, is one of the reasons why he's no doubt the most popular guy at Hilton.’
      • ‘Those days are gone, my friend, but just like Halley's Comet will make their comeback.’
      • ‘It feels like I'm making a penny a day at the moment and that's certainly not easy to live off of, my friend.’
      • ‘You might not believe it, my friend, but I've been waiting for this moment for a long time.’
      • ‘Pay no attention to them, my friend, and do not feel the least bit guilty or apologetic.’
      • ‘Images move you up the television news agenda; without camera access, my friend, your issue is dead.’
      • ‘I have a few ideas as to what you deserve, my friend, and a cold shower would be top of the list, I think.’
      • ‘This is bohemian chic, my friend.’
      • ‘I know you weren't responding to my post, my friend, and my point is this: you should have been.’
      • ‘This is war time, friend, and you may find yourself on the wrong end of a treason charge if you keep it up.’
      • ‘If you are reading this, my friend, I can't begin to know what stresses and horrors drove you to do what you did.’
      • ‘There was a time when that would have bought me 16 Mojos, but those days are gone, my friend.’
      • ‘Your powerful rock sound will zoom you to the top of the charts, my friend.’
      • ‘Good luck, my friend, and stay in touch!’
    2. 1.2one's friendsarchaic One's close relatives.
    3. 1.3 A person who supports a cause, organization, or country by giving financial or other help.
      ‘the Friends of the Welsh National Opera’
      • ‘But it might not now happen for another year, a member of Friends of East Park fears.’
      • ‘The building's owners have now offered the Friends the opportunity to buy the Winter Gardens.’
      • ‘Mr Ritchie said the Friends would continue to campaign for a year round ban.’
      • ‘Mrs Marigold Hibbert is a Friend of St Mary's Hospital in a small northern town.’
      • ‘Volunteers from the Friends of the Heritage Centre will also man the building.’
      • ‘There is also an appeal for anyone who might join the Friends of St Andrew's.’
      • ‘The new Hospital Garden, provided by the Friends this year, is being well used by patients.’
      • ‘The Friends of Imber Church feel let down.’
      • ‘Written by Elizabeth, chair of the Friends, it is the result of four years of teamwork by the committee.’
      • ‘The Friends of Healey Dell fear the move could put local wildlife at risk.’
      • ‘He also met representatives of English Heritage and spoke to some of the Friends of Victoria Baths.’
      • ‘The Friends of St Mary's Church was set up in 1998 to raise money to maintain the church.’
      • ‘He says the other way he hopes some of the Friends would be able to assist is through fundraising.’
      • ‘He also said the work was carried out after consulting the Friends of Rochdale Cemetery and visitors.’
      • ‘All funds raised from the event will assist the work of the Friends of the Koala.’
      • ‘Part of the funds raised by the sale of the book will be donated to the Friends of St Peter's Church.’
      • ‘The Friends of Roberts Park are currently looking at projects we can tackle.’
      • ‘Krause maintains that not everyone joins the Friends or stays a member for the same reason.’
      • ‘Chairman of the Friends of the Museum and borough councillor John McCloy does not see a problem.’
      • ‘The Friends will also be at the Dounby show to drum up some more support.’
      patron, backer, supporter, benefactor, benefactress, sponsor
      View synonyms
    4. 1.4 A person who is not an enemy or opponent; an ally.
      ‘she was unsure whether he was friend or foe’
      • ‘Once enemies, they became friends through an unlikely chance encounter in the wastes of the ocean.’
      • ‘And now he says he wants everyone to know who their real friends and enemies were.’
      • ‘Love is the only force capable of transforming an enemy into a friend.’
      • ‘The countries we wish to keep exploiting will see us as their friends rather than their enemies.’
      • ‘Food would go to the regime rather than the needy and the regime would be able to use it to reward friends and punish enemies.’
      • ‘You choose your enemies, and you take the enemies of your enemies as your friends.’
      • ‘The teams divided themselves into alliances and as a result both friends and enemies were made.’
      • ‘I'm an active member of The Friends of The Winter Gardens at a crucial time in a long campaign.’
      • ‘Even in the ghetto where I was born and raised, I was treated as a friend rather than an enemy.’
      • ‘He has made friends and spied potential enemies in virtually every country of the world.’
      • ‘On the other hand you can accept money from a friend, not from enemies.’
      • ‘The causes we fight for among friends will be the causes we fight for before enemies.’
      • ‘Both my friends and enemies are wrong in their guesses about the advance for my book in progress.’
      • ‘There are enemies, friends, foes, and also potential friends and potential enemies.’
      • ‘He beguiles his friends and infuriates his enemies, to the point where they can hardly mention his name.’
      • ‘In cyberspace you will find both friends and enemies, all trying to be heard.’
      • ‘You know, keep in mind that the friend of my friend, or the enemy of my enemy is my friend.’
      • ‘Enemies become friends and friends become enemies during a surprising turn of events.’
      • ‘One reason was that this was making the enemies happy and the friends sad.’
      • ‘Loyalty to friends and hatred of enemies is part of what makes the political partisan who they are.’
      • ‘It was often mistaken by both friends and enemies for an insufferable arrogance.’
    5. 1.5 A familiar or helpful thing.
      ‘he settled for that old friend the compensation grant’
      • ‘They covet its 8,000 objects as old friends and talk about them with familiar candour.’
    6. 1.6 A contact on a social networking website.
      ‘all of a sudden you've got 50 friends online who need to stay connected’
      • ‘I noticed today that about 17 people have friended me and I never friended them back.’
      • ‘You friended me, but I'm just some random guy in Minneapolis who heard about you from Susie.’
      • ‘I actually have no idea why I originally friended you.’
      • ‘So you get a list of who's friended and unfriended you recently.’
      • ‘You have friended someone because of their blog icon.’
      • ‘If you have no problem with it, I would like to be friended as well.’
      • ‘I have friended several very nonsensical people through portals like Rice Bowl Journals.’
      • ‘Since the article and subsequent events, I've been friended by 5 more librarians, only one of which was a previous acquaintance.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘If you ask to be friended for what I have to say, don't be offended if I don't comment on what you have to say.’
      • ‘I've friended you all, but haven't seen anyone looking for games recently.’
  • 2A member of the Religious Society of Friends; a Quaker.

    • ‘At the Society of Friends, he would put his arm around newcomers and encourage them into the group.’


[with object]
  • 1informal Add (someone) to a list of friends or contacts on a social networking website.

    ‘I am friended by 29 people who I have not friended back’
    • ‘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.’
  • 2archaic Befriend (someone).

    1. 2.1friend withWest Indian no object Have a sexual relationship with.
      ‘the woman got married and you still used to friend with she?’


  • be (or make) friends with

    • Be (or become) on good or affectionate terms with.

      ‘Carrie wanted to be friends with everyone’
      • ‘Well I think you should believe your friend because you have been friends with her for a long time.’
      • ‘I quickly made friends with nearly everyone there.’
      • ‘Did you ever have a friend at school who you though you'd be friends with for ever?’
      • ‘She's very happy, and has made friends with practically everyone in the congregation.’
      • ‘Right away you notice she's the type of girl everyone wants to be friends with.’
      • ‘For some reason, it seems as though here you make friends with more people from around the world than from Canada alone.’
      • ‘Josh was the cute, popular boy in class who got the good grades, and who every one wanted to be friends with.’
      • ‘Ms Laker said the police had been at the house asking about the people her eldest son, George, 13, was friends with.’
      • ‘What kind of women did she make friends with, and what kind of men did she date?’
      • ‘My friend said he was friends with the owners and said it wouldn't be that much money.’
      make friends with, make a friend of, look after, protect, keep an eye on, support, back, stand by, side with, encourage, sustain, uphold, succour, advise, guide
      View synonyms
  • be no friend of (or to)

    • Show no support or sympathy for.

      ‘he is no friend of the Republican Party’
      ‘the policy revealed itself as no friend to the utilities’
      • ‘To say he is no friend of education is imprecise: he is no friend of the present system in Florida.’
      • ‘History will show that this man was no friend of the Irish people either in their own country or in the Diaspora.’
      • ‘Sherman was no friend of radicalism but felt quite strongly that freedom of expression needed to be preserved at any cost.’
      • ‘The Prime Minister is no friend of the anti-globalisation movement.’
      • ‘Animals are part of nature and the environment, and anyone who is willing to make their zoo a cesspool because they can't properly dispose of trash is no friend to animals.’
  • a friend at court

    • A person in a position to use their influence on one's behalf.

      ‘I knew that it never hurt to have a friend at court’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘He was the international president and it could not but be helpful to have a friend at court when extension was on the agenda.’
      • ‘‘It's good to have a friend at court,’ he said, continuing his heartless harangues to the passive auditor, who neither heard nor replied to them.’
      • ‘We had a friend at court, one that secured for me two meetings with Harold Wilson.’
      • ‘The fact we are politically attuned to the region means Europeans can regard us as a friend at court.’
      • ‘I didn't want to say good bye to Bess, for I doubted that I would have such a friend at court.’
      • ‘I received intelligence of it from a friend at court, who pointed out to me a good position, from which to view the close of the proceedings.’
      • ‘But then the only reason he was able to observe the action at all was that he had a friend at court.’
      • ‘The rule seems to be lenient when it comes to dealing with the persons who have a friend at court, so to say.’
      • ‘‘Five cents for the benefit of the Sanitary Fund’, he explained to the visitors, who were not unwilling to have a friend at court for so small a price.’
  • a friend in need is a friend indeed

    • proverb A person who helps at a difficult time is a person who you can really rely on.

      ‘you are a friend in need, you are, Edie’
      • ‘We all have been hearing from our childhood days that 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.’
      • ‘As the English saying goes; a friend in need is a friend indeed.’
  • friend with benefits

    • informal A friend with whom one has an occasional and casual sexual relationship.

  • friends in high places

    • People in senior positions who are able and willing to use their influence on one's behalf.

      ‘she had friends in high places everywhere’
      • ‘I had no influence, no friends in high places, no well-connected parents.’
      • ‘Why worry about such unpleasantness, however, when your campaign contributions can buy you friends in high places?’
      • ‘‘You certainly have made friends in high places,’ I replied with a small smirk.’
      • ‘He had friends in high places, and he played tennis with Eleanor Roosevelt.’
      • ‘Fortunately, Sheen had friends in high places.’
      • ‘You may think I am just blowing smoke, but I have 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.’
      • ‘Sometimes it helps to have friends in high places.’
      • ‘It's good to know I have such great friends in high places.’
      • ‘The problem with this form of corruption is that you need friends in high places, of which the larger companies have plenty.’
  • my honourable friend

    • Used to address or refer to another member of one's own party in the House of Commons.

      • ‘I shall support my honorable friend now, and if he succeeds in this amendment, then I shall support him if he moves to leave out the latter part of the clause.’
      • ‘Still, as my honorable friend said, the states would have power to arm them.’
      • ‘Although I completely disagree with my honourable friend, the question was about whether something is illegal.’
      • ‘I turn to my honourable friend behind me, whom I was quite rude to, and I am not normally rude.’
      • ‘I know that my honourable friend from the United Future party does not need my assistance on this issue, but I am having difficulty in hearing the member's contribution.’
      • ‘Commons leader Peter Hain replied: ‘Clearly, my honourable friend has drawn a worrying episode to the House's attention.’’
      • ‘But he instead said: ‘If my honourable friend was referring, as I think he was, to the prospect of the UK becoming involved in missile defence, I am sure he knows my answer better than I do.’’
      • ‘As my honourable friend has said, that is why the title of this bill needs to be changed.’
      • ‘I thought my honourable friend might have said with equal force that it was not conscript soldiers who had fought the long weary war in South Africa so steadily and unflinchingly.’
      • ‘Desperate to put his wayward backbencher right he asked, in the usual polite Commons tradition, ‘Will my honourable friend give way?’’
  • my learned friend

    • Used by a barrister or solicitor in court to address or refer to another barrister or solicitor.

      • ‘That is what we have done and I hope it has been of some assistance, not only to the court but to my learned friend.’
      • ‘My Lord, I appreciate my learned friend's application to extend the time and I understand it.’
      • ‘I invite your Lordship to refuse permission and let my learned friend go to the Court of Appeal and ask them.’
      • ‘Now, my learned friend referred your Honours to some of the Rules of the Commission.’
      • ‘I do not think we can sensibly ask my learned friend to deal with the summary assessment.’
      • ‘This is the issue which we seek to raise by the written submissions to which my learned friend referred.’
      • ‘If the Court pleases, the passage referred to by my learned friend in fact exposes the error.’
      • ‘It was referred to by my learned friend, which is the only reason I am referring to it.’
      • ‘My Lord, I do not think there is anything between the parties on the three matters to which my learned friend has referred.’
      • ‘The attempt to do so which was introduced in my learned friend's addresses should be resisted.’
  • my noble friend

    • Used to address or refer to another member of one's own party in the House of Lords.

      • ‘I think it is a matter of perfect indifference to my noble friend whether these documents are produced or not.’
      • ‘My Lords, I am sorry but I cannot help my noble friend about the status of the Americans.’
      • ‘Then Lord Hunt of Kings Heath chipped in: ‘My Lords, has my noble friend noticed that as the nation seems to get fatter and fatter, the seats on our trains get thinner and thinner?’’
      • ‘My Lords, I thank my noble friend and congratulate her on the Government's response so far to this overwhelming and exceptional crisis.’
      • ‘I hope that what I have said has convinced my noble friend that there is no need for this amendment.’
      • ‘My Lords, I thank my noble friend for that comprehensive reply.’
      • ‘My Lords, I thank my noble friend for her answer.’
      • ‘Will my noble friend confirm that he has no veto over the Services Directive?’
      • ‘My Lords, of course I thank my noble friend for his congratulations.’
      • ‘On the issue of the services directive and, indeed, the Social Chapter, my noble friend is absolutely right.’
  • my Right Honourable friend

    • Used to address or refer to another member of one's own party in the House of Commons who is also a privy counsellor.

      • ‘In view of the reviewed interest in crime figures, will my Right Honourable friend consider whether back-stabbing should become a criminal offence?’
  • 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?’
      • ‘With friends like our current congressional representatives, who needs enemies?’
      • ‘With friends like this he hardly needs enemies.’
      • ‘With friends like them, who needs enemies?’
      • ‘A journalist thundered "with friends like Britain, who needs enemies?"’
      • ‘With friends like these, what person who values civil liberties and human rights 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.