n. A friend who acts like an enemy; a fair-weather or untrustworthy friend.
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The lingo of lingering and lost friendship is an interesting one. To 'de-friend' is to cease contact — perhaps because you fear the person is really a 'frienemy' (veering from a friend to an enemy), or because of a reduction in 'mutual chatisfaction' (conversational enjoyment), but usually because, consciously or unconsciously, you just let it happen. To 'contract Palzheimer's' means to let a great pal drift from the mind, as a result of the passage of time, lack of time, relocation, a new 'friendscape' (field of acquaintances) and/or changed values.
—John Hind, “What's the word?,” The Observer, December 14, 2003
Definition of a "frienemy": A former friend masquerading as a current friend because she doesn't know I am aware she is dating my ex.
—“The Vent,” The Atlanta Journal and Constitution, January 17, 2001
1998 (earliest)
Wake up kids
We've got the dreamers disease
Age 14 we got you down on your knees
So polite, you're busy still saying please
Frienemies, who when you're down ain't your friend
Every night we smash their Mercedes-Benz.
—Gregg Alexander, “You Get What You Give,” New Radicals: Maybe You've Been Brainwashed Too, October 20, 1998
This just-so blend of friend and enemy was coined by singer/songwriter Gregg Alexander of New Radicals and first appeared in his 1998 song, "You Get What You Give," a catchy tune if there ever was one (see the earliest citation). The rap group Arsonists also used the word (as Frienemies) as the title of a song on their album "As the World Burns," released August 24, 1999, and the word also made an appearance on the HBO show "Sex and the City." Thanks to Rima McKinzey for bringing this word to my attention.
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