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Also found in: Idioms, Encyclopedia.


1. A person whom one knows, likes, and trusts.
2. A person whom one knows; an acquaintance.
3. A person with whom one is allied in a struggle or cause; a comrade.
4. One who supports, sympathizes with, or patronizes a group, cause, or movement: friends of the clean air movement.
5. Friend A member of the Society of Friends; a Quaker.
tr.v. friend·ed, friend·ing, friends
1. Informal To add (someone) as a friend on a social networking website.
2. Archaic To befriend.
be friends with
To be a friend of: I am friends with my neighbor.

[Middle English, from Old English frēond; see prī- in Indo-European roots.]

friend′less adj.
friend′less·ness n.
Word History: The relationship between Latin amīcus, "friend," and amō, "I love," is clear, as is the relationship between Greek philos, "friend," and phileō, "I love." In English, though, we have to go back a millennium before we see the verb that we can easily connect to friend. Frēond, the Old English source of Modern English friend, is related to the Old English verb frēon, "to love, like, honor, set free (from slavery or confinement)." Specifically, frēond comes from the present participle of the Germanic ancestor of Old English frēon and thus originally meant "one who loves." (The Old English verb frēon, "to love, set free," by the way, survives today in Modern English as to free.) The Germanic root of frēond and frēon is *frī-, which meant "to like, love, be friendly to." Closely linked to these concepts is that of "peace," and in fact Germanic made a noun from this root, *frithu-, meaning exactly that. Ultimately descended from this noun are the personal names Frederick, "peaceful ruler," and Siegfried, "victory peace." The root also shows up in the name of the Germanic deity Frigg, the goddess of love, who lives on today in the word Friday, "day of Frigg," from an ancient translation of Latin Veneris diēs, "day of Venus."
American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition. Copyright © 2016 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.
References in periodicals archive ?
You can choose to unfollow the person, meaning you'll no longer see their stuff without defriending them.
However, the selfmade millionaire has to deal with the lawsuits and 'defriending' that follow his soaraway success.
Culture in mediated interaction: Political defriending on Facebook and the limits of networked individualism.
Behaviour expert Judi James said that young people used to defriending on social media are increasingly taking the easy option of a total communication blackout to avoid awkward break-ups.
If, however, the attorney, law enforcement officer, or social worker does happen appear in that judge's courtroom in a pending case, the judge can then take the appropriate steps to remedy the conflict, whether it be recusal, notification to the parties of the relationship, or defriending the individual involved in the case.
Features of most platforms support some form of sanction, from defriending to downvoting to shadowbanning, and such sanctions have the additional effect of limiting access to private information by the offender.
This is what I did before defriending someone because she had shared the intimacies of her "darling hubby's gorgeous foot rubs" just too many times.