From Wiktionary, the free dictionary
Jump to navigation Jump to search



  • IPA(key): /ˈfɹɛ, /ˈfɹɛ
  • (file)
  • Rhymes: -ɛndli, -ɛnli

Etymology 1[edit]

From Middle English frendly, freendly, frendely, frendlich, from Old English frēondlīċ, from Proto-Germanic *frijōndlīkaz, equivalent to friend +‎ -ly. Cognate with Saterland Frisian früntelk, fjuntelk (friendly), West Frisian freonlik (friendly), Dutch vriendelijk (friendly), German Low German fründelk, frünnelk (friendly), German freundlich (friendly).


friendly (comparative friendlier or more friendly, superlative friendliest or most friendly)

  1. Generally warm, approachable and easy to relate with in character.
    Your cat seems very friendly.
    • 1909, Archibald Marshall [pseudonym; Arthur Hammond Marshall], “A Court Ball”, in The Squire’s Daughter, New York, N.Y.: Dodd, Mead and Company, published 1919, →OCLC, page 9:
      They stayed together during three dances, went out on to the terrace, explored wherever they were permitted to explore, paid two visits to the buffet, and enjoyed themselves much in the same way as if they had been school-children surreptitiously breaking loose from an assembly of grown-ups. The boy became volubly friendly and bubbling over with unexpected humour and high spirits.
  2. Inviting, characteristic of friendliness.
    He gave a friendly smile.
  3. Having an easy or accepting relationship with something.
    a user-friendly software program
    a dog-friendly café
    the use of environmentally friendly packaging
    • 2016 October 22, Rami G Khouri, “Lebanese oligarchy preserves its interests once again”, in Aljazeera[1]:
      Hariri even nominated Hezbollah-friendly Sleiman Frangieh for the presidency, which by tradition is held by a Maronite Christian; but Hezbollah and Aoun held out, insisting that Aoun would be president or there would be no president at all.
  4. (in compounds) Compatible with, or not damaging to (the compounded noun).
    The cobbled streets aren't very bike-friendly.
    Organic farms only use soil-friendly fertilisers.
    Our sandwiches are made with dolphin-friendly tuna.
    • 2010, Tony Pinchuck, Barbara McCrea, Donald Reid, Ross Velton, The Rough Guide to South Africa, 6th edition, London: Rough Guides, →ISBN, pages 147–148:
      An offbeat pizza restaurant, which also serves pasta and salads, and bills itself as low-fat and heart-friendly. Has over forty different designer pizza toppings, such as smoked salmon, sour cream and caviar.
  5. Without any hostility.
    a friendly competition
    a friendly power or state
  6. Promoting the good of any person; favourable; propitious.
    a friendly breeze or gale
    • 1712 (date written), [Joseph] Addison, Cato, a Tragedy. [], London: [] J[acob] Tonson, [], published 1713, →OCLC, Act I, scene iv, page 10:
      Coarſe are his Meals, the Fortune of the Chaſe, / Amidſt the running Stream he ſlakes his Thirſt, / Toil's all the Day, and at th' approach of Night / On the firſt friendly Bank he throws him down, / Or reſts his Head upon a Rock 'till Morn: []
  7. (usually military) Of or pertaining to friendlies (friendly noun sense 2, below). Also applied to other bipolar confrontations, such as team sports.
    The soldier was killed by friendly fire.
    • 1867 June 3, Jasper Selwyn, “Further Particulars Regarding Moncrieff's Protected Barbette System”, in Journal of the Royal United Service Institution, volume XI, number XLIV, page 256:
      It is clear that the firing of very heavy guns, or the enemy's fire in return, would very seriously interfere with an abbatis, or anything of that kind, and it will only be something of the lightest character, or something that is placed at a considerable distance from the friendly fire, the fire of the gun itself, that would remain.
    • 1910, P.E.T., “The Franco-German War”, in Journal of the Military Service Institution of the United States, volume XLVI, number CLXV, page 552:
      The slaughter of one's own troops by being fired into by their friends in rear. We are very much concerned over the question of avoiding loss from the enemy's bullets while passing through the danger zone, but what have we done to avoid our bravest fellows, the survival of the fittest, those who have gotten to the front and have held on to hard-won positions—what have we done to avoid their being shot to pieces by friendly fire? Absolutely nothing that we have ever heard of—and yet this is one of the most serious problems that confronts the leader of troops. Courage before the enemy will quail before a fire from the rear.
  8. (number theory) Being or relating to two or more natural numbers with a common abundancy.
    friendly pairs
    friendly n-tuples
Derived terms[edit]


friendly (plural friendlies)

  1. (sports) A game which is of no consequence in terms of ranking, betting, etc.
    This match is merely a friendly, so don't worry too much about it.
    • 2017 November 14, Phil McNulty, “England 0-0 Brazil”, in BBC News[2]:
      Brazil provided a different test from Germany and gave England lessons Southgate will store before he gets his squad together again for friendlies against the Netherlands in Amsterdam and at home to Italy in March.
  2. A person or entity on the same side as one's own in a conflict.
    • 1898, Ernest Bennett, The Downfall of the Dervishes:
      These were speedily routed by the friendlies, who attacked the small force before them in fine style.
    • 2008, Dennis Wengert, A Very Healthy Insanity, page 44:
      You see, the mission of almost every teenage girl on the loose is to first identify the targets, just like a war. These include the primary objective (the boy), the enemy (other girls), the friendlies (sympathetic girl friends and the boy's family), and unfriendlies (other boys).
    • 2017 July 6, Howard Tayler, Schlock Mercenary[3], archived from the original on 20 January 2024:
      "What's coming?" "Dunno yet. Cindy! Active scanning! Pulse hard, but don't cook any friendlies."
    • 2018 October 17, Drachinifel, 19:47 from the start, in Last Ride of the High Seas Fleet - Battle of Texel 1918[4], archived from the original on 4 August 2022:
      Reports from SMS Kaiser indicate scouting destroyers attacked and destroyed a large submarine to the north. Hipper orders the destroyers to be more careful; the High Seas Fleet is approaching the U-boat patrol line, and he has a feeling they've just sunk a friendly.
The translations below need to be checked and inserted above into the appropriate translation tables. See instructions at Wiktionary:Entry layout § Translations.

Etymology 2[edit]

Drive Friendly – The Texas Way

From Middle English frendly, frendliche, from Old English frēondlīċe (in a friendly manner), equivalent to friend +‎ -ly.


friendly (comparative more friendly, superlative most friendly)

  1. In a friendly manner; like a friend.
    • c. 1587–1588, [Christopher Marlowe], Tamburlaine the Great. [] The First Part [], 2nd edition, part 1, London: [] [R. Robinson for] Richard Iones, [], published 1592, →OCLC; reprinted as Tamburlaine the Great (A Scolar Press Facsimile), Menston, Yorkshire, London: Scolar Press, 1973, →ISBN, Act I, scene ii:
      And looke we friendly on them when they come:
      But if they offer word or violence,
      Weele fight fiue hundred men at armes to one,
      Before we part with our poſſeſſion: []
    • 1646, Thomas Browne, Pseudodoxia Epidemica:
      And we cannot doubt, our Brothers in Physick [...] will friendly accept, if not countenance our endeavours.