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A friend was someone who was more than an acquaintance but typically did not belong to one's family. The relationship between friends was called a friendship.

For much of Human history, the ceremony of breaking bread was a symbol of friendship and community. This tradition was less practiced in the 24th century. (TNG: "Time Squared")

Sylvia Tilly claimed a roommate was an automatic built-in friend. (DIS: "Context Is for Kings")

According to Jean-Luc Picard in 2364, close friends were quite rare for him, with two of his oldest and closest friends being the deceased Jack Crusher and Walker Keel. For Picard, friendship "must dare to risk", or it was no friendship at all. (TNG: "Conspiracy")

Data defined friendship as "I experience certain sensory input patterns, my mental pathways become accustomed to them. The inputs eventually are anticipated and even missed when absent". Data considered both William T. Riker and Deanna Troi to be his friends. (TNG: "Time's Arrow") By 2367, his best friend was Geordi La Forge. (TNG: "Data's Day")

Guinan made fast friends with Ro Laren in 2368, with Jean-Luc Picard later commenting that Guinan was very selective about whom she called a friend. (TNG: "Ensign Ro")

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