Definition of friend zone in English:

friend zone


  • A situation in which a friendship exists between two people, one of whom has an unreciprocated romantic or sexual interest in the other.

    ‘I always wind up in the friend zone, watching them pursue other guys’
    • ‘Even if you never get out of the friend zone with that particular woman, she is more than likely to give you insight and information that you can use in the future with other women.’
    • ‘Note to the guys: If you invite a girl to meet you for a beer at Flanigan's she may suspect that you are in the "friend zone."’
    • ‘But in the absence of any other data, it seems you are truly in the friend zone.’
    • ‘Brooks despises himself for envying Hurt and being desperately in love with Hunter but painfully condemned to live forever in the "friend zone".’
    • ‘My advice is to widen your dating pool and keep this guy in the friend zone.’
    • ‘It is next to impossible to get out of the friend zone unless SHE makes the choice (consciously or otherwise) that she likes you in "that way" (romantically).’
    • ‘The friend zone, contrary to what I'd been told, had an awful lot of amenities.’
    • ‘"I've been shunted into the friend zone," he continued, nodding in Stella's direction.’
    • ‘I'm a nice caring guy, so can often get trapped in the friend zone.’
    • ‘Should I tell him "it's there between us, and I want to take this to the next level" or do I continue living in the Friend Zone?’
    • ‘It goes terribly wrong and he ends up humiliated in front of everyone and, worse still, is placed very firmly into the Friend Zone with the words "I love you, Chris" … like a brother.’
    • ‘It's fine for him to chat with them but it is equally important for him to just keep them in the "friend zone".’
    • ‘"No hope of escape once they put you in the friend zone," he said.’
    • ‘I don't want to stay in the friends zone, I want to be the guy whom she can think of starting a relationship with.’
    • ‘No cake on earth can get him out of the friend zone.’
    • ‘Sally doesn't care about hurting George, as she prematurely places him in the "friend zone," and George doesn't care enough about anything to risk a romance with Sally.’
    • ‘The subject matter is pretty universal; male or female, I'm guessing everyone has been relegated to the friend zone at one time or another.’
    • ‘Are we in the friend zone?’
    • ‘People send themselves to the Friend Zone so they can feel okay about being rejected.’


[with object]informal
  • Come to regard (someone) solely as a friend, despite their unreciprocated romantic or sexual interest.

    ‘girls always shoot me down and friend-zone me’


1990s: popularized by the US television comedy series Friends.