friend - definition and synonyms


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  1. 1
    [countable] someone you know well and like, but who is not a member of your family

    She’s visiting friends in Scotland.

    close/good/great friend:

    Helga is a close friend of mine.

    old friend (=one that you have had for a long time):

    I’m having lunch with an old friend.

    friends and relatives/neighbours/acquaintances:

    We stayed with various friends and relatives.

    friend of the family/family friend:

    May I introduce Peter Flint, a very old friend of the family.

    circle of friends (=group of friends):

    She has a wide circle of friends.

    1. a.
      used for referring to a person without mentioning their name

      I’ll ask my friend at the office if she knows.

      The letter was signed simply ‘A friend’.

    2. b.


      [plural] if two people are friends, each one is a friend of the other

      They used to be good friends, but they’ve fallen out recently.

      friend with:

      I’ve been friends with him for years.

  2. 2
    [countable] a country that has a good relationship with another country

    Japan is a valued friend and partner of this country.

  3. 3
    [countable] someone who supports a particular organization, political movement etc, especially by giving them money

    Annabel is a friend of the Metropolitan Museum.

  4. 4
    legal British used by a barrister to refer to a solicitor in court

    My friend, Miss Edwards, for the respondents, has failed to address a number of issues.