broth·​er ˈbrə-t͟hər How to pronounce brother (audio)
plural brothers also brethren ˈbret͟h-rən How to pronounce brother (audio)
: a male who has the same parents as another or one parent in common with another
: one related to another by common ties or interests
: a fellow member
used as a title for ministers in some evangelical denominations
: one of a type similar to another
: one who shares with another a common national or racial origin
especially : a Black boy or man : soul brother
capitalized : a member of a congregation of men not in holy orders and usually in hospital or school work
: a member of a men's religious order who is not preparing for or is not ready for holy orders
a lay brother

Examples of brother in a Sentence

We must support our brothers and sisters fighting overseas. the brothers in a monastery
Recent Examples on the Web In the photo, three brothers, guns in hand, stand in front of their parents, ready to protect the place. Theresa Vargas, Washington Post, 13 Apr. 2024 Related Stories The father-son duo soon found themselves in the oeuvre of the Coen brothers, specifically No Country for Old Men. Brian Davids, The Hollywood Reporter, 13 Apr. 2024 All reminders of that day, one year ago, when Yarl was shot while trying to pick up his brothers. Kendrick Calfee, Kansas City Star, 13 Apr. 2024 As the money-making operation, the Ahmanson helped make possible the artistic ambitions of its less practical brethren. Charles McNulty, San Diego Union-Tribune, 13 Apr. 2024 When Thomas reveals to his brother Peter (Michael Imperioli), the mayor, that the baths use water that has been contaminated with bacteria by the local tanneries, Peter’s identity as a political operator becomes evident. The New Yorker, 12 Apr. 2024 Travis was also spotted in beaded bracelets at his brother’s NFL retirement press conference. Catherine Santino, Peoplemag, 12 Apr. 2024 In 2015, his brother revealed that most of the dialogue had been recorded by the time Farley died. Larisha Paul, Rolling Stone, 12 Apr. 2024 All eight of his brothers have had the disease, and two of them, as well as his father, have died from it. Robin Cole, Fortune, 12 Apr. 2024

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'brother.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History


Middle English, from Old English brōthor; akin to Old High German bruodor brother, Latin frater, Greek phratēr member of the same clan

First Known Use

before the 12th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Time Traveler
The first known use of brother was before the 12th century

Dictionary Entries Near brother

Cite this Entry

“Brother.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 18 Apr. 2024.

Kids Definition


broth·​er ˈbrət͟h-ər How to pronounce brother (audio)
plural brothers also brethren ˈbret͟h- (ə-)rən How to pronounce brother (audio)
: a male who has one or both parents in common with another
: a male relative
: a fellow member of a group
Last Updated: - Updated example sentences
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