broth·er | \ˈbrə-t͟hər \
plural brothers also brethren\ˈbret͟h-rən; ˈbre-t͟hə-rən, -t͟hərn \

Definition of brother 

1 : a male who has the same parents as another or one parent in common with another

2 : one related to another by common ties or interests

3 : a fellow member used as a title for ministers in some evangelical denominations

4 : one of a type similar to another

5a : kinsman

b : one who shares with another a common national or racial origin especially : soul brother

6a capitalized : a member of a congregation of men not in holy orders and usually in hospital or school work

b : 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

Faversham, the full brother to former Horse of the Year California Chrome (sired by Lucky Pulpit out of the mare Love the Chase), was entered by trainer Art Sherman, who also trained Chrome. Jeff Nahill,, "Horsemen stuff entry box for opening day at Del Mar," 14 July 2018 Raisani is the brother of the former Baluchistan chief minister, Aslam Raisani. NBC News, "More than 100 people killed in Pakistan election violence," 14 July 2018 Raisani is the brother of the former Baluchistan chief minister, Aslam Raisani. Zaheer Babar And Abdul Sattar,, "74 dead in election violence in Pakistan," 13 July 2018 Raisani is the brother of the former Baluchistan chief minister, Aslam Raisani. Zaheer Babar And Abdul Sattar, USA TODAY, "At least 74 people killed in Pakistan election violence," 13 July 2018 Raisani is the brother of the former Baluchistan chief minister, Aslam Raisani. Zaheer Babar,, "132 people die in election violence ahead of Sharif’s return," 13 July 2018 The play opens with the three brothers, sons of a Jewish cattle merchant from Bavaria, arriving one at a time in America: first Henry (Beale), then Emanuel (Miles) and Mayer (Godley), setting up shop in Montgomery, Alabama. Demetrios Matheou, The Hollywood Reporter, "'The Lehman Trilogy': Theater Review," 13 July 2018 Chuck is the brother of Abud’s grandfather, while his wife Lila is the sister of Joseph’s mother. Lori Higgins, Detroit Free Press, "What soccer-loving uncle taught 2 top Michigan teachers," 13 July 2018 To get more wheels on the road (Michelin wheels, of course), the well-to-do brothers of Clermont-Ferrand published a guidebook of hotels and fuel stops in the French countryside in 1900. Casey Quackenbush / Hong Kong, Time, "'We're Not Educated.' The Untold Story of Lung King Heen, the World's First Michelin Three-Star Chinese Restaurant," 12 July 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'brother.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

See More

First Known Use of brother

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

History and Etymology for brother

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

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about brother

Phrases Related to brother

little brother/sister

Statistics for brother

Last Updated

11 Oct 2018

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for brother

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

See more words from the same century

Keep scrolling for more

More Definitions for brother



English Language Learners Definition of brother

: a boy or man who has one or both of the same parents as you

: a man who is from the same group or country as you

: a male member of a religious group


broth·er | \ˈbrə-t͟hər \
plural brothers also brethren\ˈbret͟h-rən \

Kids Definition of brother

1 : a male person or animal related to another person or animal by having one or both parents in common

2 : a fellow member of an organization

Keep scrolling for more

Comments on brother

What made you want to look up brother? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


lying above or upon

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Words from Greek and Roman Mythology Quiz

  • the-triumph-of-venus-by-alessandro-magnasco
  • Boreal comes from the name of the ancient Greek god of which wind?
Name That Thing

Test your visual vocabulary with our 10-question challenge!

Word Winder's CrossWinder

Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.


Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!