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 The fortune of their sister-in-law Christy Walton, wife of deceased brother John, contracted by more than $1 billion. Lauren Debter, Forbes, 18 May 2022 Dunn's brother Nicholos Legon told WAGA-TV the crash happened shortly after the family had been celebrating their sister's 28th birthday. CBS News, 17 May 2022 Karen’s brother, Dave McCoy, said Pavy had a natural touch with people that was unique. Kyle Neddenriep, The Indianapolis Star, 17 May 2022 The foundation paid more than $840,000 to Cullors Protection LLC, a security firm run by Paul Cullors, Patrisse’s brother, according to the tax filing. Aaron Morrison, ajc, 17 May 2022 Shastun got a call from Nikita about his older brother Igor. Matthew Luxmoore, WSJ, 17 May 2022 Another brother was in custody in Mexico and fighting extradition to the U.S. San Diego Union-Tribune, 17 May 2022 Jahon Smith, Mackniel’s cousin, said in an email that Mackniel’s brother had recently died after a brief illness. Silvia Foster-frau, Washington Post, 17 May 2022 Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, known as MBZ, took the reins on Saturday after his half-brother Sheikh Khalifa passed away a day earlier. CNN, 16 May 2022 See More

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.

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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Last Updated

22 May 2022

Cite this Entry

“Brother.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 28 May. 2022.

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More Definitions for brother


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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