He's a friend of mine

The message is clear. He's my friend. He wishes all good for me and helps me whenever I need one.

He's an enemy of mine

The message is clear again. He's my enemy. He wishes all bad for me and never helps me whenever I need!

He's ...... of mine!

The message is clear. He's neither friend nor enemy. He's in between. At times, he may help me but then I cannot always rely on him. He's not a friend of mine.

Other times, he does really bad to me but maybe, there was no any other go for him. He's not an enemy of mine! :)


5 Answers 5


He's an acquaintance.

acquaintance: a person one knows slightly, but who is not a close friend.

  • 2
    +1 It can also depend on context. For example, at work he might be a "coworker", on a team he might be a "teammate" or a "peer", in a social situation, an "acquaintance", in a business relation, a "partner"; the key point is that any one of many neutral toned words that can be used.
    – Jason C
    Aug 2, 2014 at 23:17

Qubei's answer of "acquaintance" is probably the best. But in general, this is just a problem where the word you're asking for doesn't entirely exist because if the purpose of language is to communicate information then the word wouldn't really communicate any information about this person. In general you just refer to such a person by whatever other descriptors cover your relationship with/knowledge of the person. "This coworker of mine, John,...", "This cashier at the supermarket I know, Sally, was telling me,..." etc.

In addition, it's fairly rare to actually refer to someone as an "enemy". "Rivals" is probably the far more common phrase, or in informal conversation with others who aren't friendly, one might use some more rude adjectives.


"unfriend" is not as strong as "enemy". Tolkien used the term "unfriend" in the Lord of the Rings to describe the long-lasting bad feelings between the elves and the dwarves.

"rival" might be the word you are looking for. A rival can be either a friend or an enemy (or something in between) depending on the circumstances.

  • 1
    Nowadays, "unfriend" sounds like a verb: After our little spat, she unfriended me on Facebook.
    – J.R.
    Sep 20, 2018 at 22:23

Frenemy. Like in the movie. I have an enemy who isn't all the way my enemy. He actually can be quite rude and selfish around me, but usually around other people, he is nicer to them.

I would call them my frenemy.


An associate works as well. Essentially it's someone with whom you have a working relationship.

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