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[bih-frend] /bɪˈfrɛnd/
verb (used with object)
to make friends or become friendly with; act as a friend to; help; aid:
to befriend the poor and the weak.
Origin of befriend
1550-60; be- + friend
Related forms
unbefriended, adjective
assist, comfort, succor; welcome. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the Web for befriend
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • He was bound to assist us and befriend us, and to listen to our reasonable complaints.

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

    Poems William D. Howells
  • I know she is very childish; and I will be patient with her and befriend her, poor lonely girl.

    The Doctor's Wife M. E. Braddon
  • She is a worthy soul, or else I do not know one, and she will befriend you readily.

    The Shame of Motley Raphael Sabatini
  • He has gone from court to court as a suppliant, but has everywhere alienated the sympathies of those most willing to befriend him.

  • I came to befriend you, and not to interchange words of angry meaning.

    The O'Donoghue Charles James Lever
  • Upon this my benevolent friend thought that here was a grand opportunity to befriend me.

    Redburn. His First Voyage Herman Melville
British Dictionary definitions for befriend


(transitive) to be a friend to; assist; favour
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
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Word Origin and History for befriend

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

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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