before 900;Middle Englishfriend, frend,Old Englishfrēond friend, lover, relative (cognate with Old Saxonfriund,Old High Germanfriunt (GermanFreund), Gothicfrijōnds), orig. present participle of frēogan, cognate with Gothicfrijōn to love
O.E. freond, prp. of freogan "to love, to favor," from P.Gmc. *frijojanan "to love" (cf. O.N. frændi, O.Fris. friund, M.H.G. friunt, Ger. Freund, Goth. frijonds "friend," all alike from prp. forms). Related to O.E. freo "free." Meaning "a Quaker" (a member of the Society of Friends) is from 1670s. Feond ("fiend," originally "enemy") and freond often were paired alliteratively in O.E.; both are masculine agent nouns derived from prp. of verbs, but are not directly related to one another. Related: Friends. As a verb, in the Facebook sense, attested from 2005.