friend

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English[edit]

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Etymology[edit]

From Middle English frende, frend, freond, from Old English frēond (friend, relative, lover, literally loving-[one]), from Proto-Germanic *frijōndz (lover, friend), from Proto-Indo-European *prēy-, *prāy- (to like, love). Cognate with West Frisian freon, froen, freondinne (friend), Dutch vriend (friend), Low German frund, fründ (friend, relative), German Freund (friend), Danish frænde (kinsman), Swedish frände (kinsman, relative), Icelandic frændi (kinsman), Gothic 𐍆𐍂𐌹𐌾𐍉𐌽𐌳𐍃 (frijōnds, friend). More at free.

Pronunciation[edit]

Noun[edit]

friend (plural friends)

  1. A person other than a family member, spouse or lover whose company one enjoys and towards whom one feels affection.
    • 1898, Winston Churchill, chapter 1, The Celebrity:
      However, with the dainty volume my quondam friend sprang into fame. At the same time he cast off the chrysalis of a commonplace existence.
    John and I have been friends ever since we were roommates at college.   Trust is important between friends.   I used to find it hard to make friends when I was shy.
  2. A boyfriend or girlfriend.
  3. An associate who provides assistance.
    The Automobile Association is every motorist’s friend.   The police is every law abiding citizen’s friend.
  4. A person with whom one is vaguely or indirectly acquainted
    • 2013 June 21, Oliver Burkeman, “The tao of tech”, The Guardian Weekly, volume 189, number 2, page 27: 
      The dirty secret of the internet is that all this distraction and interruption is immensely profitable. Web companies like to boast about […], or offering services that let you "stay up to date with what your friends are doing", [] and so on. But the real way to build a successful online business is to be better than your rivals at undermining people's control of their own attention.
    a friend of a friend;  I added him as a friend on Facebook, but I hardly know him.
  5. A person who backs or supports something.
    I’m not a friend of cheap wine.
  6. (informal) An object or idea that can be used for good.
    Google is your friend.
  7. (colloquial, ironic, used only in the vocative) Used as a form of address when warning someone.
    You’d better watch it, friend.
  8. (computing, programming) In object-oriented programming, a function or class granted special access to the private and protected members of another class.
    • 1991, Tom Swan, Learning C++
      But don't take the following sections as an endorsement of friends. Top C++ programmers avoid using friends unless absolutely necessary.
    • 2001, Stephen Prata, C++ primer plus
      In that case, the function needn't (and shouldn't) be a friend.
    • 2008, D S Malik, C++ Programming: From Problem Analysis to Program Design
      To make a function be a friend to a class, the reserved word friend precedes the function prototype []
  9. (obsolete) A paramour of either sex.
    (Can we find and add a quotation of Shakespeare to this entry?)

Synonyms[edit]

Antonyms[edit]

  • (person whose company one enjoys): enemy, foe, nemesis (nonstandard)
  • (person who provides assistance): enemy, foe

Usage notes[edit]

Derived terms[edit]

Translations[edit]

The translations below need to be checked and inserted above into the appropriate translation tables, removing any numbers. Numbers do not necessarily match those in definitions. See instructions at Help:How to check translations.

Verb[edit]

friend (third-person singular simple present friends, present participle friending, simple past and past participle friended)

  1. (transitive, obsolete) To act as a friend to, to befriend; to be friendly to, to help.
    • 1596, Edmund Spenser, The Faerie Queene, IV.ii:
      Lo sluggish Knight the victors happie pray: / So fortune friends the bold [...].
  2. (transitive) To add (a person) to a list of friends on a social networking site; to officially designate (someone) as a friend.
    • 2006, David Fono and Kate Raynes-Goldie, "Hyperfriendship and Beyond: Friends and Social Norms on LiveJournal" (PDF version), Internet Research Annual Volume 4, Peter Lang, ISBN 0820478571, page 99,
      The difference between responses to the statement, "If someone friends me, I will friend them," and "If I friend someone, I expect them to friend me back," is telling.
    • 2006, Kevin Farnham and Dale G. Farnham, Myspace Safety: 51 Tips for Teens And Parents, How-To Primers, ISBN 0977883353, page 69,
      One of the most used features of MySpace is the practice that is nicknamed "friending." If you "friend" someone, then that person is added to your MySpace friends list, and you are added to their friends list.

Synonyms[edit]

Antonyms[edit]

Translations[edit]

Statistics[edit]

Anagrams[edit]


Spanish[edit]

Etymology[edit]

From English

Noun[edit]

friend m (plural friends)

  1. (climbing) cam