A boyfriend is a person's regular male companion in a romantic and/or sexual relationship,[1] although normally not in long-term committed (e.g. marital) relationships, where other titles (e.g. husband, partner) are more commonly used.

The term "guy friend" can refer to a male non-romantic and non-sexual friend.



A man with his boyfriend.
A woman with her boyfriend.

Partners in committed non-marital relationships are also sometimes described as a significant other, life partner or simply partner, especially if the individuals are cohabiting.

At times, since boyfriend and partner mean different things to different people, the distinctions between the terms are subjective. How the term is used will ultimately be determined by personal preference.[citation needed]

Though nuanced, there is a significant difference between girlfriend and boyfriend on one hand, and girl friend and boy friend on the other. In a strictly grammatical sense, a girlfriend[2] or boyfriend[3] is an 'individual of significance' with whom one shares a relationship.

Word history

In the early to mid 20th century, in the US, women were often interviewed by "gentleman callers", single men who would arrive at the home of a young woman with the hopes of beginning a courtship.[citation needed] Boyfriend thus had implications of an illicit relationship (as sexual and romantic relationships outside marriage were generally frowned upon).[citation needed] As more casual courtships and relationships grew common and accepted, the term lost its pejorative intonation.

In literature, the term is discussed in July 1889 in Neil Bartlett's, Who Was That Man? A Present for Mr Oscar Wilde. On pages 108-110, Bartlett quotes from an issue of The Artist and Journal of Home Culture, which refers to Alectryon as "a boyfriend of Mars".


  • An older man, e.g. sugar daddy, "gentleman caller", "gentleman friend", main man, man, old man, while others may suggest a young man (e.g., baby).[citation needed]
  • In popular culture, slang, internet chat, and cellphone texting, the truncated acronym bf is also used.[4]*Gender-indiscriminate terms also apply, e.g., true love, and gender-neutral ones like date, escort, steady or suitor; furthermore, non-gender specific euphemisms such as admirer and companion.[citation needed]
  • Leman or lemman, an archaic word for "sweetheart, paramour," from Medieval British leofman (c.1205), from Old English leof (cognate of Dutch lief, German lieb) "dear" + man "human being, person" was originally applied to either gender, but remarkably usually meant mistress.[citation needed]

See also


  1. ^ Compact Oxford English Dictionary of Current English , published 23 June 2005, University of Oxford, ISBN 978-0-19-861022-9 edition
  2. ^ "Girlfriend". WordNet. Retrieved 11 November 2010. 
  3. ^ "Boyfriend". WordNet. Retrieved 11 November 2010. 
  4. ^ BF - Definition by AcronymFinder

External links

Wikimedia Foundation. 2010.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • Boyfriend — «Boyfriend» Сингл Джастина Бибера …   Википедия

  • Boyfriend — Saltar a navegación, búsqueda Boyfriend Sencillo de Ashlee Simpson del álbum I am me Lanzamiento 16 …   Wikipedia Español

  • Boyfriend — Single par Miki Fujimoto extrait de l’album Miki 1 Face A Boyfriend Face B Osananajimi Sortie 7 novembre 2002 …   Wikipédia en Français

  • Boyfriend — Boyfriend(englausgesprochen)m FreundeinerHalbwüchsigen.AusEnglandübernommen.1950ff …   Wörterbuch der deutschen Umgangssprache

  • boyfriend — woman s paramour, 1909, from BOY (Cf. boy) + FRIEND (Cf. friend) …   Etymology dictionary

  • boyfriend — [n] male acquaintance or romantic companion admirer, beau, companion, confidant, date, escort, fiancé, flame*, follower, friend, intimate, partner, soul mate, steady, suitor, swain, sweetheart, young man; concepts 419,423 Ant. girlfriend …   New thesaurus

  • boyfriend — ► NOUN ▪ a person s regular male companion in a romantic or sexual relationship …   English terms dictionary

  • boyfriend — ☆ boyfriend [boi′frend΄ ] n. Informal 1. a sweetheart, beau, or escort of a girl or woman 2. a boy who is one s friend …   English World dictionary

  • Boyfriend — Manga Titel Boyfriend Originaltitel ボーイフレンド Transkription …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • boyfriend — noun ADJECTIVE ▪ current, latest, new ▪ former, old, previous ▪ first ▪ last …   Collocations dictionary

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