from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 5th Edition.

  • noun A person who is ostensibly friendly or collegial with someone but who is actually antagonistic or competitive.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License.

  • noun humorous Someone who pretends to be your friend, but is really your enemy.
  • noun humorous A fair-weather friend who is also a rival.


from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

Blend of friend and enemy. Likely to have been invented independently multiple times.


  • The term frenemy appeared in print as early as 1953, but gained huge popularity in the past few years.

    The Full Feed from

  • Though the term frenemy is not gender-specific, there is something troubling about the fact that it is overwhelmingly applied to women.

    The Full Feed from

  • The term frenemy, seamlessly blending the words fri (end) and enemy, refers to someone who pretends to be a friend but actually is an enemy --- a proverbial wolf in sheep's clothing in the world of friendships.

    The Full Feed from

  • I kinda feel like some of these could have happened purposefully in an effort to humorously combine the two words that sound alike, you know, kinda like "frenemy" -- "congraduation."

    Jen GraduRants

  • The actress refuses to name names, simply calling the ex-pal a "frenemy" - leading gossips to speculate on who the old friend might be.

    ContactMusic Ltd | Latest News

  • The frenemy is the dark side of the user, with manipulation an underlying factor in these negative relationships.

    Therese Borchard: 10 Types Of Female Friends: How Many Do You Have?

  • Anyway, she says a frenemy is a friend who is partly an enemy, or a friend that you kind of dislike.

    Dear Pen Pal

  • She could also be your "frenemy" -- you know, the one you think slept with your boyfriend -- or that sleazeball co-worker who undermined you to the boss.

    The Full Feed from

  • While most research on friendship and health has focused on the positive relationship between the two, a frenemy is a potential source of irritation and stress.

    The Full Feed from

  • Maybe I fear that writing one story will have me back to the world where perspective is lost, where every other writer is a "frenemy" see what I did there and I'm conflicted when they get into journals I know will never take me.

    The Brentmeister


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  • "Frenemy" was added to the Webster Dictionary this year. It means someone who acts or pretends to be your friend, when in fact they don't like you and don't have your best interests at heart and they work against you.

    September 14, 2009

  • A frenemy is someone who acts like a friend but is really an enemy.

    "I thought Tammy was my friend, but based on her recent behavior, I've realized she is actually a frenemy."

    July 9, 2009

  • Does this word apply to people you don't know very well and don't care to get to know any better who still try to befriend you on social networking sites?

    August 12, 2008

  • I agree. I think because it's in cahoots with pronouncing friend as "fren."

    August 12, 2008

  • This word is just pure shite!

    August 12, 2008

  • What a dum word.

    August 12, 2008

  • "* Risk is asymmetrical. First parties “bet the company�? before launch, but independent game-makers “bet the company�? for years after. This creates “frenemies�? who battle for game market share and profits."

    Bing Gordon,

    August 11, 2008

  • Yes, it could be a friend who does you dirt.

    July 16, 2007

  • Or a friend disguised as an enemy. Or someone or something that's both at once:

    "In this new open web world, where the cost of rolling out services is remarkably low, and eyeballs are the currency, everyone is a frenemy. Friends of today are enemies of tomorrow. Enemies of today are tomorrow’s friends."

    - from GigaOM, 6/27/07

    July 16, 2007

  • An enemy disguised as a friend. Cf. Trojan Horse.

    May 22, 2007