girlfriend

See also: girl friend

EnglishEdit

Alternative formsEdit

EtymologyEdit

girl +‎ friend

PronunciationEdit

NounEdit

girlfriend (plural girlfriends)

  1. A female partner in an unmarried romantic relationship.
    Coordinate terms: boyfriend, enbyfriend, fiancée, lover, partner, significant other, sweetheart, wife, lady friend
    Marc went to the park with his girlfriend and watched the sunset with her.
    • 1966, “The Man Trap”, in Star Trek: The Original Series, season 1, episode 1, Paramount Pictures, spoken by Capt. James T. Kirk (William Shatner):
      Want to pick some flowers, doctor? When a man visits an old girlfriend she usually expects something like that.
  2. A female friend.
    Synonym: (slang) chickfriend
    Coordinate terms: buddy, friend, pal, BFF
    Mary always enjoyed hanging out with her girlfriend Jessica.
    • 2018, Shiv Kotecha, The Switch, United States: Wonder, →ISBN, page 135:
      [] for the past 45 years, Neri had sat outside with her girlfriends Fotini and Eleni, two school friends who, having grown old in their company, Neri loved dearly.

Usage notesEdit

  • The term is used to refer to any girl or woman in a romantic relationship with another person.
  • An adult woman in such a non-marital relationship is sometimes referred to instead as a significant other or partner, especially if the two partners are living together. Because girlfriend and partner mean different things to different people, the distinctions between the terms are subjective, and which term is used in a relationship will ultimately be determined by personal preference.
  • The use of girlfriend for a female non-romantic friend of another female is limited in geographic distribution and sometimes preferred by older generations of speakers.
  • Sometimes used as a term of address among men, particularly gay men.

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