The verb to friend is used for making friends in social nets connecting people with similar interests. What is the antonym, the negative verb, meaning to delete somebody from your "friends"? What's the correct prefix? I found different versions on the Internet.

  • 1
    Are you talking about on Facebook and other social media sites specifically? – Catija Jun 23 '16 at 2:50
  • 4
    to unfriend, naturally – CowperKettle Jun 23 '16 at 2:51
  • @Catija, yes, which one to choose --to unfriend, because there's *unfriendly * or to defriend, (reminding *defrost *)? – V.V. Jun 23 '16 at 3:09
  • A good search line for Google is "friend antonym" or "[any word] antonym". – CowperKettle Jun 23 '16 at 4:13
  • 2
    Obviously, it's to enemy a person. (Just kidding!) – ErikE Jun 23 '16 at 16:35
up vote 25 down vote accepted

You're looking for unfriend.

unfriend
to remove (someone) from a list of designated friends on a person's social networking Web site

And apparently, defriend works too.

defriend
unfriend

I've also heard people use the words delete and remove.

  1. I deleted him from (my) Facebook/my friends list.
  2. I removed him from (my) Facebook/my friends list.

All of these options seem correct. They are all understandable.


I had a feeling unfriend was more popular than defriend because I do not often hear or read about people "defriending" one another. Thank you to @AndreaGottardo for providing additional information using Google Trends.

Google Trends comparison of unfriend and defriend

In the above graph, unfriend is blue while defriend is red.

  • Looks like unfriend is much more used compared to defriend. See here: google.com/trends/explore#q=unfriend%2C%20defriend – Andrea Gottardo Jun 23 '16 at 12:26
  • Yes, thank you so much! I need to learn how to use these google resources to provide more insightful answers. – Em. Jun 23 '16 at 12:32
  • I've also heard the term blocked, but it's used inappropriately. It happens that many people have their information locked down so only their friends can see their updates. Thus removing a current friend effectively blocks that person, even though that's not the actual action. Still, I hear it enough that it should be mentioned. – corsiKa Jun 23 '16 at 15:23
  • I have never heard "unfriend." I'm gonna take a poll of my friends who use FB. My use of defriend may precede FB, going back to MySpace, LiveJournal, etc. – Alan Carmack Jun 23 '16 at 15:24

I prefer defriend, but there is unfriend, which I never use. Either one can be considered "correct."

  • why do you prefer "defriend" over "unfriend"? – Ooker Dec 5 '17 at 14:04

As "to friend" might specific to certain networks (and unfriend or defriend have been proposed), you have the option to defollow. You can remain "friend" in some sense, but stop be informed about updates. In a more generic sense, you can block.

protected by Community Jun 23 '16 at 14:34

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