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Alternative forms[edit]


From back- +‎ friend.



backfriend (plural backfriends)

  1. (Britain, dialectal, obsolete) A false friend; a secret enemy.
    • c. 1702, Roger L'Estrange:
      Set the restless importunities of talebearers and backfriends against fair words and professions
    • South:
      Far is our church from encroaching upon the civil power; as some who are backfriends to both would maliciously insinuate.
    • 1822, Scott, Nigel:
      Ye have back-friends, my lord, that is, un-friends, or to be plain, enemies.
  2. (Britain, dialectal) A friend at one's back; a backer; one who does his best for another; a supporter.
    • 1825, Mich. Bruce's Lectures:
      "Yet well's our day for this, we have a good backfriend that will gar our cause stand right again."
    • 2010, David Carkeet, Double Negative:
      I've got a backfriend to meet.'” “A 'backfriend'?” “Yes. Evidently he had a late-night appointment with someone at Wabash. That was the way he liked to do it.”
  3. (Britain, dialectal) A hangnail.