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1. The quality or condition of being friends.
2. A friendly relationship: formed new friendships at camp.
3. Friendliness; good will: a policy of friendship toward other nations.
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.


(ˈfrɛnd ʃɪp)

1. the state of being a friend; association as friends: to value a person's friendship.
2. a friendly relation or intimacy.
3. friendly feeling or disposition.
[before 900]
Random House Kernerman Webster's College Dictionary, © 2010 K Dictionaries Ltd. Copyright 2005, 1997, 1991 by Random House, Inc. All rights reserved.




  1. An acquaintanceship, if all goes well, can linger in the memory like an appealing chord of music, while a friendship, or even a friendship that deteriorates into an enemyship, so to put it, is like a whole symphony, even if the music is frequently unacceptable, broken, loud, and in other ways painful to hear —William Saroyan
  2. Became like old friends, the kind who can’t leave each other on deathbeds —Thomas McGuane
  3. Comradeship … burned and flamed like dry straw on fire —Stephen Longstreet
  4. Early friends drop out, like milk teeth —Graham Greene
  5. Every man is like the company he won’t keep —Euripides

    An ironic twist on, “A man is known by the company he keeps” and, “Tell me the company you keep and I’ll tell you who you are.”

  6. Friendship ought to be a gratuitous joy, like the joys recorded by art or life —Simone Weil
  7. Friendship … should, like a well-stocked cellar, be … continually renewed —Samuel Johnson
  8. A friendship that like love is warm; a love like friendship steady —Thomas Moore
  9. Friendship with Cape was like climbing a ladder. You had to wait awhile on each rung before he invited you to climb the next —Robert Campbell
  10. Friends … slipping from his orbit like bees from a jaded flower —Beryl Markham
  11. He who helps a friend in woe is like a fur coat in the snow —Russian proverb
  12. I keep my friends as misers do their treasure —Pietro Aretino

    Aretino’s simile dating back to the sixteenth century, was followed by this explanation: “Because of all the things granted us by wisdom, none is greater or better than friendship.”

  13. Ill company is like a dog who dirts those most whom he loves best —Jonathan Swift
  14. In their friendship they were like two of a litter that can never play together without leaving traces of tooth and claw, wounding each other in the most sensitive places —Colette
  15. It is as foolish to make experiments upon the constancy of a friend, as upon the chastity of a wife —Samuel Johnson
  16. Life without a friend is like life without sun —Spanish proverb
  17. Life without a friend is death with a vengeance —Thomas Fuller
  18. Life without a friend is death without a witness —John Ray’s Proverbs
  19. The light of friendship is like the light of phosphorous, seen plainest when all around is dark —Robert Crowell
  20. Like old friends they wear well —Slogan, Meyer gloves
  21. The loss of a friend is like that of a limb; time may heal the anguish of the wound, but the loss cannot be repaired —Robert Southey
  22. My friendship [with Vita Sackwille-West] is over. Not with a quarrel, not with a bang, but as a ripe fruit falls —Virginia Woolf, March 11, 1935 diary entry


  23. A new friend is like new wine; you do not enjoy drinking it until it has matured —Ben Sira
  24. A new friend is a new wine —The Holy Bible/Apocrypha
  25. Their association together possessed a curiously unrelenting quality, like the union of partners in a business rather than the intimacy of friends —Anthony Powell
  26. Went through our friendships like epsom salts, draining us, no apologies, no regrets —Rosa Guy
  27. Without a friend the world is a wilderness —John Ray’s Proverbs
Similes Dictionary, 1st Edition. © 1988 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.



(See also LOVE.)

close as the bark to the tree Intimate, close; interdependent, symbiotically related, mutually sustaining. The phrase is used particularly of the closeness between husbands and wives. Though occasionally used to indicate physical proximity, the expression usually carries implications that such is indicative of a spiritual or psychological intimacy or dependency.

She would stick as close to Abbot as the bark stuck to the tree. (Cotton Mather, The Wonders of the Invisible World, 1692)

The “bark and the tree” as symbolic of “husband and wife” was in print as early as the mid-16th century. The analogy assumes that spouses interrelate in the interdependent, mutually nourishing patterns characteristic of the relationship between a tree and its bark. See also go between the bark and the tree, MEDDLESOMENESS.

eat [someone’s] salt To share someone’s food and drink, to partake of someone’s hospitality. Among the ancient Greeks to eat another’s salt was to create a sacred bond of friendship between host and guest. No one who had eaten another’s salt would say anything against him or do him any harm. Salt, as it is used in this phrase, symbolizes hospitality, probably because it once was of considerable value, (cf. the etymology of salary). The first OED citation given for this expression is dated 1382.

hand in glove See CONSPIRACY.

hobnob To be chummy, familiar, or intimate with; also, hob and nob. This expression originated as hab-nab ‘have or have not,’ ‘give or take.’ Shakespeare employed this early sense in Twelfth Night:

He is a devil in private brawl…. Hob, nob, is his word, give’t or take’t. (III, iv)

The ‘give or take’ sense of this expression was subsequently extended to include the exchange of toasts as a sign of comradeship. Consequently, the phrase evolved its contemporary figurative meaning of being on friendly or familiar terms.

It cannot be her interest to hob and nob with Lord Fitzwilliam. (Lady Granville, Letters, 1828)

the mahogany The dining room table, as symbolic of sociability, conviviality, friendship, conversation, etc. This popular 19th-century British colloquial term usually appeared in phrases such as around the mahogany, over the mahogany, or with one’s feet under the mahogany.

I had hoped … to see you three gentlemen … with your legs under the mahogany in my humble parlour. (Charles Dickens, Master Humphrey’s Clock, 1840)

Currently mahogany is a colloquial term for a bar.

From the moment Mr. Primrose appeared behind his own mahogany and superseded the barmaid, he dominated everything. (N. Collins, Trinity Town, 1936)

rub shoulders To mingle or socialize; to hobnob. This expression is derived from the bumping and grazing of bodies against each other at social gatherings. The phrase quite often describes the mingling of persons of diverse background and social status at cocktail parties, political gatherings, and the like.

thick as thieves Intimate, familiar, friendly; close, tight. This expression is thought to derive from the French ils s’entendent comme larrons en foire ‘as thick as thieves at a fair,’ where thick means ‘crowded, densely arranged.’ When at a fair was dropped from the expression, the figurative jump to thick ‘close, intimate’ occurred; Theodore Hook used the truncated form in The Parson’s Daughter (1833):

She and my wife are as thick as thieves, as the proverb goes.

Pickpockets, cutpurses, and their kind frequented fairs and other large gatherings where the prospects of gain and escape were both high.

Picturesque Expressions: A Thematic Dictionary, 1st Edition. © 1980 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.
ThesaurusAntonymsRelated WordsSynonymsLegend:
Noun1.friendship - the state of being friends (or friendly)friendship - the state of being friends (or friendly)
relationship - a state involving mutual dealings between people or parties or countries
blood brotherhood - the friendship characteristic of blood brothers
companionship, fellowship, society, company - the state of being with someone; "he missed their company"; "he enjoyed the society of his friends"
confidence, trust - a trustful relationship; "he took me into his confidence"; "he betrayed their trust"
Based on WordNet 3.0, Farlex clipart collection. © 2003-2012 Princeton University, Farlex Inc.


1. attachment, relationship, bond, alliance, link, association, tie They struck up a close friendship.
3. closeness, love, regard, affection, intimacy, fondness, companionship, comradeship He really values your friendship.
"Friendship is a single soul dwelling in two bodies" [Aristotle]
"Friendship makes prosperity more brilliant, and lightens adversity by dividing and sharing it" [Cicero De Amicitia]
"Friendship admits of difference of character, as love does that of sex" [Joseph Roux Meditations of a Parish Priest]
Collins Thesaurus of the English Language – Complete and Unabridged 2nd Edition. 2002 © HarperCollins Publishers 1995, 2002


The American Heritage® Roget's Thesaurus. Copyright © 2013, 2014 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.
صداقةصَدَاقَةصداقَهصَداقَه، عُلاقَه، موَدَّه
tình bạn


[ˈfrendʃɪp] Namistad f; (at school, work etc) → compañerismo m
Collins Spanish Dictionary - Complete and Unabridged 8th Edition 2005 © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1971, 1988 © HarperCollins Publishers 1992, 1993, 1996, 1997, 2000, 2003, 2005


[ˈfrɛndʃɪp] namitié f
to build up a friendship → devenir amis(amies)
Collins English/French Electronic Resource. © HarperCollins Publishers 2005


nFreundschaft f
Collins German Dictionary – Complete and Unabridged 7th Edition 2005. © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1980 © HarperCollins Publishers 1991, 1997, 1999, 2004, 2005, 2007


[ˈfrɛndʃɪp] namicizia
Collins Italian Dictionary 1st Edition © HarperCollins Publishers 1995


(frend) noun
1. someone who knows and likes another person very well. He is my best friend.
2. a person who acts in a friendly and generous way to people etc he or she does not know. a friend to animals.
ˈfriendless adjective
without friends. alone and friendless.
ˈfriendly adjective
kind and willing to make friends. She is very friendly to everybody.
ˈfriendship noun
1. the state of being friends. Friendship is a wonderful thing.
2. a particular relationship between two friends. Our friendship grew through the years.
make friends (with)
to start a friendly relationship; to become friends with someone. The child tried to make friends with the dog.
Kernerman English Multilingual Dictionary © 2006-2013 K Dictionaries Ltd.


صَدَاقَة přátelství venskab Freundschaft φιλία amistad ystävyys amitié prijateljstvo amicizia 友情 우정 vriendschap vennskap przyjaźń amizade дружба vänskap มิตรภาพ dostluk tình bạn 友谊
Multilingual Translator © HarperCollins Publishers 2009


n amistad f
English-Spanish/Spanish-English Medical Dictionary Copyright © 2006 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc. All rights reserved.
References in classic literature ?
But we may go further, and affirm most truly, that it is a mere and miserable solitude to want true friends; without which the world is but a wilderness; and even in this sense also of solitude, whosoever in the frame of his nature and affections, is unfit for friendship, he taketh it of the beast, and not from humanity.
"Be at least mine enemy!"--thus speaketh the true reverence, which doth not venture to solicit friendship.
Me too thy nobleness has taught To master my despair; The fountains of my hidden life Are through thy friendship fair.
"Ah yes, my dear," said the count, addressing the visitor and pointing to Nicholas, "his friend Boris has become an officer, and so for friendship's sake he is leaving the university and me, his old father, and entering the military service, my dear.
Love is all very well in its way, but friendship is much higher.
"Gentlemen," he said, "our presence here is the best proof of former friendship; not one of us has failed the others at this rendezvous; not one has, therefore, to reproach himself."
Upon the whole, the consequences of such a law as this would be directly contrary to those things which good laws ought to establish, and which Socrates endeavoured to establish by his regulations concerning women and children: for we think that friendship is the greatest good which can happen to any city, as nothing so much prevents seditions: and amity in a city is what Socrates commends above all things, which appears to be, as indeed he says, the effect of friendship; as we learn from Aristophanes in the Erotics, who says, that those who love one another from the excess of that passion, desire to breathe the same soul, and from being two to be blended into one: from whence it would necessarily follow, that both or one of them must be destroyed.
He then launched forth into a panegyric on Allworthy's goodness; into the highest encomiums on his friendship; and concluded by saying, he should never forgive his brother for having put the place which he bore in that friendship to a hazard.
"The confidence of our friendship is sacred with me, and nothing, no, nothing, could ever tempt me to violate such a trust.
Yes, you have betrayed our friendship, Makar Alexievitch, in that you have not been open with me; and, now that I see that your last coin has been spent upon dresses and bon-bons and excursions and books and visits to the theatre for me, I weep bitter tears for my unpardonable improvidence in having accepted these things without giving so much as a thought to your welfare.
Our friendship cannot be impaired by it, and in happier times, when your situation is as independent as mine, it will unite us again in the same intimacy as ever.
In Florence, a rich and famous city of Italy in the province called Tuscany, there lived two gentlemen of wealth and quality, Anselmo and Lothario, such great friends that by way of distinction they were called by all that knew them "The Two Friends." They were unmarried, young, of the same age and of the same tastes, which was enough to account for the reciprocal friendship between them.

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