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Alternative forms[edit]


Blend of friend +‎ enemy. Likely to have been invented independently multiple times.



frenemy (plural frenemies)

  1. (humorous) Someone who pretends to be your friend, but is really your enemy.
    • 1987, I Ain't No Joke, by Eric B. and Rakim, on the album "Paid in Full": "Another enemy / Not even a frenemy."
    • 2001, In France the Seine has all the advantages of Northernness (a quality underrated by our Gallic frenemy) but it is too fatally interested in Paris [...] —John Lanchester, The Debt to Pleasure. [1]
    • 2004, You know when you dump a guy, only to discover years later that he's evolved into the perfect boyfriend—for the high-school frenemy who convinced you to dump him in the first place...? —The Ex-Factor, Andrea Semple. [back cover] [2]
    • 2005, So why did we break up? Enter Blaize St. John, frenemy extraordinaire. She came, she saw, she stole my boyfriend. —Single Girl's Guide to Murder, Joanne Meyer. [back cover] [3]
    • 2007, "Gates made a rare and instructive appearance with his longtime frenemy Steve Jobs." Appeared on Time's June 18, 2007 issue.
  2. (humorous) A fair-weather friend who is also a rival.
    • 2008 April 6, Stephen Root as Bill Dauterive, Six Characters in Search of a House (King of the Hill), season 12, episode 17, written by Erin Ehrlich:
      So, we're definitely not going to be friends with Ferguson? Maybe we can be frenemies. A love-hate relationship's the next best thing.



See also[edit]