broth·​er | \ ˈbrə-t͟hər How to pronounce brother (audio) \
plural brothers also brethren\ ˈbret͟h-​rən How to pronounce brethren (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 : 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 Christian Clemons said the brothers opened fire on a vehicle. Carol Robinson |, al, "Brothers out on bond for murder charged in new Bessemer shooting cases," 14 Jan. 2020 Miramax, the company he and his brother, Bob, founded, had been flirting with bankruptcy, to the point that employees were reusing copy-machine toner and working from home when the electric bills went unpaid. Bruce Handy, The New Yorker, "A Tale of Two Harveys," 13 Jan. 2020 Harry seemed to acknowledge that there was tension when he was asked if there was a rift between him and his brother, Prince William, by the ITV broadcaster Tom Bradby. Washington Post, "Queen calls for face-to-face showdown with princes Harry, William and Charles. Meghan could phone in.," 12 Jan. 2020 What would happen a decade later between her and Amrozi’s brother — the man who had taught Amrozi how to make bombs — was unthinkable in that moment. Time, "How Bali Bombing Widow and Bomber's Brother Became Friends," 30 Dec. 2019 Dylan posted a photo of him and his twin brother along with Suite Life of Zack and Cody co-stars Brenda Song and Ashley Tisdale attending a holiday event. Tamara Fuentes, Seventeen, "Lili Reinhart Jokes She Couldn’t Tell Dylan and Cole Sprouse Apart in Holiday Throwback Photo," 27 Dec. 2019 These images will also help to understand the brothers Van Eyck's techniques and the changes carried out in the course of the successive execution of this unique masterpiece. Jennifer Ouellette, Ars Technica, "How AI helps unlock the secrets of Old Master and modernist paintings," 27 Dec. 2019 In this image, published in August 1914, the brothers were rigging a rope system, risking a 300-foot fall. National Geographic, "What are the best photos of the decade?," 27 Dec. 2019 There were the usual delays - script rewrites and whatnot - but also the brothers' tireless pursuit of Sandler. Sonia Rao, Anchorage Daily News, "‘Uncut Gems’ could win Adam Sandler an Oscar. It took the Safdie brothers years to get him on board.," 24 Dec. 2019

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

18 Jan 2020

Cite this Entry

“Brother.” The Dictionary, Merriam-Webster Inc., Accessed 23 January 2020.

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How to pronounce brother (audio)

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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More from Merriam-Webster on brother

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for brother

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with brother

Spanish Central: Translation of brother

Nglish: Translation of brother for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of brother for Arabic Speakers

Comments on brother

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out of the ordinary or unreasonable

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