From Old High German friunt, from Proto-Germanic *frijōndz (“lover, friend”), from a derivative of Proto-Indo-European *prēy-, *prāy- (“to like, love”). Compare Low German Fründ, Dutch vriend, West Frisian freon, English friend, Danish frænde, Gothic 𐍆𐍂𐌹𐌾𐍉𐌽𐌳𐍃 (frijōnds), Swedish frände.
Freund and Freundin may refer to either a platonic friend or a boyfriend/girlfriend. In general, "mein Freund" (my friend) refers to a boyfriend, whereas "ein Freund von mir" (a friend of mine) refers to a non-romantic friendship. Similarly, one might refer to "meine Freundin" for a girlfriend or "eine Freundin von mir" for a non-romantic female friend.
In the case of non-romantic friendship, the German word is closer in meaning to the English expression close friend than to friend in colloquial American English.
- Freund in Duden online