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Alternative forms[edit]


From Middle English feend ‎(enemy, demon), from Old English fēond ‎(enemy), from Proto-Germanic *fijandz. Cognate with Old Norse fjándi (Icelandic fjandi, Danish fjende, Swedish fiende, Norwegian fiende, West Frisian fijân, Low German Feend, Fiend, Dutch vijand, German Feind, Gothic 𐍆𐌹𐌾𐌰𐌽𐌳𐍃 ‎(fijands), all of them meaning foe. The Old Norse and Gothic terms are present participles of the corresponding verbs fjá/𐍆𐌹𐌾𐌰𐌽 ‎(fijan, to hate). Akin to Sanskrit पियति ‎(piyati, (he) reviles).



fiend ‎(plural fiends)

  1. (obsolete) An enemy, unfriend, or foe.
  2. (religious, archaic) The enemy of mankind, specifically, the Devil; Satan.
    • 1971, Keith Thomas, Religion and the Decline of Magic, Folio Society 2012, p. 35:
      At the confirmation ceremony the bishop would lay his hands on the child and tie around its forehead a linen band […]. This was believed to strengthen him against the assaults of the fiend […].
  3. A devil or demon; a malignant or diabolical being; an evil spirit.
    • 1845, E.A. Poe, "The Raven"
      "Be that word our sign of parting, bird or fiend!"
  4. A very evil person
  5. (informal) An addict or fanatic
    a jazz fiend

Derived terms[edit]



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fiend ‎(third-person singular simple present fiends, present participle fiending, simple past and past participle fiended)

  1. (slang, intransitive) To yearn; to be desperate (for something).
    • 2011, Emma J. Stephens, For a Dancer: The Memoir
      I am back in San Francisco at the Clift Hotel, fiending for my fix.