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verb (used with object)
  1. to make friends or become friendly with; act as a friend to; help; aid: to befriend the poor and the weak.
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Origin of befriend

First recorded in 1550–60; be- + friend
Related formsun·be·friend·ed, adjective

Synonyms for befriend

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Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Related Words for befriend

advise, patronize, assist, help, uphold, welcome, back, favor, benefit, sustain, encourage, aid

Examples from the Web for befriend

Contemporary Examples of befriend

Historical Examples of befriend

  • We can convey the intelligence of your mischance to her: the porter will befriend you.

    Calderon The Courtier

    Edward Bulwer-Lytton

  • If you have, don't expect me to befriend you when you get back to England.

    A Tale of Two Cities

    Charles Dickens

  • "Then you won't find me slow to befriend you," said Mr. Dunbar.

    Henry Dunbar

    M. E. Braddon

  • When I first knew her she was lonely and strange, and I tried to befriend her.

    The First Violin

    Jessie Fothergill

  • Grown beyond her consoling, and knows that she cannot befriend him.


    William D. Howells

British Dictionary definitions for befriend


  1. (tr) to be a friend to; assist; favour
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Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012

Word Origin and History for befriend


1550s, from be- + friend (q.v.). Related: Befriended; befriending.

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper