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Denotation vs. Connotation

fair-weather friend

fair-weather friend in Culture

fair-weather friend definition


A friend who supports others only when it is easy and convenient to do so: “I thought Gene would always stick by me, but when I got into trouble, he turned out to be a fair-weather friend.”

The American Heritage® New Dictionary of Cultural Literacy, Third Edition
Copyright © 2005 by Houghton Mifflin Company.
Published by Houghton Mifflin Company. All rights reserved.
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Examples from the Web for fair-weather friend
Historical Examples
  • She is a fair-weather friend, and shrinks with the most charming frankness from those on whom dark days have fallen.

  • As she said of herself a few years later, she was not a fair-weather friend.

    Mary Wollstonecraft Elizabeth Robins Pennell
  • She was not a fair-weather friend, and since Jennie was good enough to offer her a home she felt she ought to go at once.

    The Amazing Interlude Mary Roberts Rinehart
  • Simeon is poor in friendshe only had one besides his wife, and that one is a fair-weather friend.

  • Could they drive a wedge between us by showing that we were a fair-weather friend whom any stress would alienate?

  • Could they drive a wedge between us by showing that we were a fair-weather friend whom any stress would alienate.

    The German War Arthur Conan Doyle
  • "Ask him what he wants," I cried, turning to our fair-weather friend, the cook.

    Hilda Wade Grant Allen
  • I am assured, at least, that in you I have but a fair-weather friend, a poor lipserver.

    St. Martin's Summer Rafael Sabatini
  • Now all was well once more and Mrs. Ward, who had been no fair-weather friend to Italy, rejoiced with all her heart.

    The Life of Mrs. Humphry Ward Janet Penrose Trevelyan
  • Since then, long experience had convinced him that this clumsy human bear was no fair-weather friend.

    The Gadfly E. L. Voynich
Idioms and Phrases with fair-weather friend

fair-weather friend

A person who is dependable in good times but is not in times of trouble. For example, You can't rely on Sarah—she's strictly a fair-weather friend. This expression likens fair weather to good times. [ Early 1700s ]
The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
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