tr.v. Archaic., friendÂ·ed, friendÂ·ing, friends.
- A person whom one knows, likes, and trusts.
- A person whom one knows; an acquaintance.
- A person with whom one is allied in a struggle or cause; a comrade.
- One who supports, sympathizes with, or patronizes a group, cause, or movement: friends of the clean air movement.
- Friend A member of the Society of Friends; a Quaker.
[Middle English, from Old English frÄ“ond.]friendless friend'less adj.
friendlessness friend'lessÂ·ness n.
WORD HISTORY A friend is a lover, literally. The relationship between Latin amÄ«cus â€œfriendâ€ and amÅ â€œI loveâ€ is clear, as is the relationship between Greek philos â€œfriendâ€ and phileÅ â€œI love.â€ In English, though, we have to go back a millennium before we see the verb related to friend. At that time, frÄ“ond, the Old English word for â€œfriend,â€ was simply the present participle of the verb frÄ“on, â€œto love.â€ The Germanic root behind this verb is *frÄ«â€“, which meant â€œto like, love, be friendly to.â€ Closely linked to these concepts is that of â€œpeace,â€ and in fact Germanic made a noun from this root, *frithuâ€“, meaning exactly that. Ultimately descended from this noun are the personal names Frederick, â€œpeaceful ruler,â€ and Siegfried, â€victory peace.â€ 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, â€œday of Frigg,â€ from an ancient translation of Latin Veneris diÄ“s, â€œday of Venus.â€