Idioms

Learn idioms with comprehensive meaning, examples and origin details.

Idioms

a friend in need is a friend indeed

a friend in need is a friend indeed

Meaning

  • When used as ‘a friend in need is a friend indeed’ it means that a person who helps at the time of a requirement is a true friend.
  • When used as ‘a friend in need is a friend indeed?’ means that when someone needs your help with something then they tend to become friendly with you. This meaning is not used often anymore but remains to be a part of the phrase nevertheless.
  • A third variation, although even less popular is “a friend in need is a friend in deed” which means that someone would be willing to take action (deed) for a friend’s requirement.

Example Sentences

  1. He stayed with me throughout the time I was in the hospital, a friend in need is a friend indeed!
  2. I always try to work out a way for my friends’ problems. A friend in need is a friend in deed.

Origin
The phrase, because of its debatable meaning is used as reference to context. It is amongst the oldest known phrases with the first usage in Latin by Quintus Ennius in the 3rd century BC. When translated it means that a sure friend is identified or recognized when there is a difficulty. It has been in existence since the 11th Century by the Oxford Dictionary.

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