broth·​er | \ ˈbrə-t͟hər How to pronounce brother (audio) \
plural brothers also brethren\ ˈbret͟h-​rən How to pronounce brother (audio) ; 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 : a Black boy or man : 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 Reflecting on seeing his sister in concert then, her brother James agrees. David Browne, Rolling Stone, "The Return of," 1 Apr. 2021 Jeremiah is bigger than his brother at 6-10, 240 pounds. Richard Obert, The Arizona Republic, "Arizona State's Taeshon Cherry announces transfer to Grand Canyon," 1 Apr. 2021 Lauren Hirsh, who co-owns Club 14 wine club and bar in Westlake with her brother, felt compelled to support another member of the wine community. Jenn Harris Columnist, Los Angeles Times, "How a group of sommeliers saved this Los Angeles restaurant," 31 Mar. 2021 His little brother Kendal had just got a scholarship to the University of Miami., "Former Patriots receiver Kenbrell Thompkins charged with identity theft and unemployment fraud," 31 Mar. 2021 At the church gathering, located on the south side of town, a five-minute drive down the street from where Floyd was killed, his brother Terrence choked back tears while testifying about his loss. Washington Post, "Outside the courthouse, Minneapolis weighs the meaning of the Chauvin trial," 31 Mar. 2021 Carpenter filed suit after a judge in Uvalde County, where much of the sprawling ranchland sits, approved Marmion’s will and made her brother the executor. Dallas News, "Carpenter-Briscoe lawsuit could decide controlling stake in former Texas governor’s ranch," 31 Mar. 2021 Another 3-year-old was being cared for by her 11-year-old brother. Paul Best, Fox News, "Texas Rangers save 6-month-old baby thrown from raft into Rio Grande River," 31 Mar. 2021 Jullian Sanchez said his brother was known to occasionally go for a walk and clear his head. Lisa Maria Garza,, "‘Do the right thing’: Loved ones want justice for UCF student killed by hit-and-run driver," 30 Mar. 2021

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.

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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

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Time Traveler for brother

Time Traveler

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

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Statistics for brother

Last Updated

4 Apr 2021

Cite this Entry

“Brother.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 12 Apr. 2021.

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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 How to pronounce brother (audio) \
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

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