\Friend\ (fr[e^]nd), n. [OR. frend, freond, AS. fre['o]nd, prop. p. pr. of fre['o]n, fre['o]gan, to love; akin to D. vriend friend, OS. friund friend, friohan to love, OHG. friunt friend, G. freund, Icel. fr[ae]ndi kinsman, Sw. fr['a]nde. Goth. frij[=o]nds friend, frij[=o]n to love. [root]83. See Free, and cf. Fiend.]
1. One who entertains for another such sentiments of esteem, respect, and affection that he seeks his society aud welfare; a wellwisher; an intimate associate; sometimes, an attendant.
2. A person you know well and regard with affection and trust.
3. An associate who provides assistance.
4. A person with whom you are acquainted.
5. One not inimical or hostile; one not a foe or enemy; also, one of the same nation, party, kin, etc., whose friendly feelings may be assumed. The word is some times used as a term of friendly address.
6. One who looks propitiously on a cause, an institution, a project, and the like; a favorer; a promoter; as, a friend to commerce, to poetry, to an institution.
7. One of a religious sect characterized by disuse of outward rites and an ordained ministry, by simplicity of dress and speech, and esp. by opposition to war and a desire to live at peace with all men. They are popularly called Quakers.
8. A paramour of either sex. [Obs.] --Shak.
Word History: A friend is a lover, literally. The relationship between Latin am cus 'friend' and am 'I love' is clear, as is the relationship between Greek philos 'friend' and phile 'I love.' In English, though, we have to go back a millennium before we see the verb related to friend. At that time, fr ond, the Old English word for 'friend,' was simply the present participle of the verb fr on, 'to love.' The Germanic root behind this verb is *fr -, which meant 'to like, love, be friendly to.' Closely linked to these concepts is that of 'peace,' and in fact Germanic made a noun from this root, *frithu-, meaning exactly that. Ultimately descended from this noun are the personal names Frederick, 'peaceful ruler,' and Siegfried, 'victory peace.' The root also shows up in the name of the Germanic deity Frigg, the goddess of love, who lives on today in the word Friday, 'day of Frigg,' from an ancient translation of Latin Veneris di s, 'day of Venus.'
What defines a friend? How many people do you trust? How do you handle being rejected?
What defines a friend?
A common bond. A desire to know and learn and grow with a person. A person with which you both have something to offer and something to gain, whether it be teaching, learning, insight, or just a shoulder to lean on. Someone who can give you both support and criticism, and offer both with equal love. Someone who weathers the bad times as well as the good with you. Someone who will randomly contact you just to touch base, to see what's going on, to see if you are doing well. Someone you have the ability to communicate with. One who respects your failings and limitations, and you theirs. And you can work within those limitations. A voice of caring in the darkest hours of the night when the demons come. Someone who listens. Someone who cares. Someone who understands.
How many people do you trust?
No one, completely. *sigh* Been there, done that, got *bapped!* on the nose or worse. A small few people mostly. Several people superficially. Not a very big total, compared to most. It's a hard thing for me, and a precious gift when I do even partly. But no one seems to get that.
How do you handle being rejected?
Depends on the situation, the people, the reasons. This one will require more thought.