views updated May 14 2018

friend / frend/ • n. a person whom one knows and with whom one has a bond of mutual affection, typically exclusive of sexual or family relations. ∎  a person who acts as a supporter of a cause, organization, or country by giving financial or other help: join the Friends of Guilford Free Library. ∎  a person who is not an enemy or who is on the same side: she was unsure whether he was friend or foe. ∎  a familiar or helpful thing: he settled for that old friend the compensation grant. ∎  (often as a polite form of address or in ironic reference) an acquaintance or a stranger one comes across: my friends, let me introduce myself. ∎  (Friend) a member of the Religious Society of Friends; a Quaker.• v. [tr.] archaic or poetic/lit. befriend (someone).PHRASES: be (or make) friends with be (or become) on good or affectionate terms with (someone).a friend at court a person in a position to use their influence on one's behalf.friends in high places people in senior positions who are able and willing to use their influence on one's behalf.DERIVATIVES: friend·less adj.ORIGIN: Old English frēond, of Germanic origin; related to Dutch vriend and German Freund, from an Indo-European root meaning ‘to love,’ shared by free.


views updated May 29 2018

friend with capital initial, Friend denotes a member of the Religious Society of Friends, a Quaker; the name is recorded from the late 17th century.
a friend at court a person in a position to use their influence on one's behalf. The term is recorded from the medieval period, and in early uses refers to a sovereign's court rather than a tribunal.
a friend in need is a friend indeed proverbial saying, mid 11th century; a friend in need is one who helps when one is in need or difficulty. The same idea is found in the 5th century bc in Greek, in the Hecuba of Euripides, ‘for in adversity good friends are most clearly seen.’ The Roman writer Ennius (239–169 bc) has, ‘a sure friend is known in unsure times.’
friend of Dorothy a term for a gay man for whom Dorothy in the Wizard of Oz (1939), as portrayed by Judy Garland, is an icon.

See also the enemy of my enemy is my friend, fair-weather friend, friends, lend your money and lose your friend.


views updated Jun 11 2018

friend OE. frēond, pl. frīend = OS. friund (Du. vriend), OHG. friunt (G. freund), ON. (with change of decl. in the sg.) frændi, Goth. frijōnds; Gmc. prp. formation on *frijōjan (whence OE. frēoġan, Goth. frijōn love), f. *frijaz beloved, FREE.