- a sweetheart who is a boy or man
- a boy who is one's friend
A woman and her boyfriend.
A man who you have been dating exclusively for three months is an example of your boyfriend.
- A male companion or friend with whom one has a sexual or romantic relationship.
- A male friend.
In contrast to its female equivalent, girlfriend, which is often used to describe a woman's close female friends, the term is not that often used in reference to non-romantic relationships. Boyfriend is a relatively modern term, and in the past has had implications of an illicit relationship (as sexual and romantic relationships outside marriage were generally frowned upon). It is now a generally accepted term and has no negative implications.
Use of boyfriend generally implies that the male is a boy or a young man. An older man in a non-marital relationship and sometimes even a young man in a long-term relationship is more often described as a significant other or partner.
Separating the word into its two components boy friend avoids the romantic implication nowadays, although boy friend used to mean the same as boyfriend does now. However, British and Australian men usually refer to a male friend as a mate. Similarly, Americans and Canadians use the term buddy.
- She hadn't been able to keep a job or a boyfriend for more than a few months, let alone an eternity!
- "Logan won't take this well," he said, referring to her boyfriend of almost two years.
- Her biggest problem now would be explaining things to her boyfriend, who was probably still nursing his wounds.
- "I'm going home, after my coffee date with my soon-to-be-boyfriend," she replied with a pointed look at Xander.
- She hadn't been able to break up with a boyfriend she was sick of for fear of hurting his feelings.