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From Middle Dutch vrien, from Old Dutch *frīon, from Proto-Germanic *frijōną (to love).



vrijen (past singular vree or vrijde, past participle gevreeën or gevrijd)

  1. (intransitive) To make love, to have sex, to get laid.
    Het is heel belangrijk om veilig te vrijen.
    It’s very important to have safe sex.
    • 2008, Bram Bakker, “Weg met Dr. Atkins”, in: De dwarse psychiater, Uitgeverij Maarten Muntinga, Amsterdam, ISBN 978 90 417 07468
      En partners krijgen niet de echte reden te horen waarom er zo weinig gevreeën wordt.
      And partners don’t get to hear the real reason why not much is happening in bed.
  2. (intransitive) To make out, to cuddle, to hug and kiss.
    Zij vroeg haar vriendje om eerst gewoon te vrijen.
    She asked her boyfriend to just kiss and hug first.
  3. (intransitive) To have a relationship, to be a couple, to go out with someone.
    Zij heeft haar vriend Alex leren kennen op internet en ze vrijen al meer dan een jaar nu.
    She met her boyfriend Alex on the Internet and now they’ve been going out together for more than a year already.

Usage notes[edit]

The ambiguity between the first two senses often leads to confusion, which can lead the hearer to ask for clarification which sense is meant, but it also conveys exactly that the distinction might not be clear.



Derived terms[edit]


  • vrijen” in Woordenlijst Nederlandse Taal – Officiële Spelling, Nederlandse Taalunie. [the official spelling word list for the Dutch language]