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Frenemy is a word that has been around since at least the 1950s, though its popularity has soared in the last decade or so. We will examine the definition of the word frenemy, where it came from and some examples of its use in sentences.

A frenemy is a person with one whom is socially friendly, though one feels a fundamental rivalry or animosity toward that person. Usually, both people in such a relationship understand that they are frenemies. The word frenemy is a portmanteau of the words friend and enemy. A portmanteau is a word that is composed by blending the sounds and the meanings of two different words. The word frenemy may have been coined by the American newspaper columnist Walter Winchell in 1953: “Howz about calling the Russians our frienemies?” Note that the spelling of the word frenemy has changed. It was added to the Oxford English Dictionary in 2010.


The enormous rise of these so-called food aggregators means many restaurants and fast-food outlets are reluctantly embracing their new “frenemies” as a way to survive a huge shift in the way consumers buy their food. (The Sydney Morning Herald)

I expect Trump to crash the Davos party with told-you-so glee, like a cranky, braggy salesman able to work a captive audience of frenemy peers. (Esquire Magazine)

In “A Regular Couple,” a semifamous defense attorney reconsiders her past after she runs into a high school frenemy also honeymooning at the same resort. (Publishers Weekly)

Joining Scott is Nicholas Christopher, who will take on the role of Hamilton’s epic frenemy, Aaron Burr — the eventual U.S. vice president who (spoiler alert) killed Hamilton in a duel. (The San Diego Union Tribune)