broth·​er-in-law ˈbrə-t͟hər-ən-ˌlȯ How to pronounce brother-in-law (audio)
plural brothers-in-law ˈbrə-t͟hərz-ən- How to pronounce brother-in-law (audio)
: the brother of one's spouse
: the husband of one's sibling
: the husband of one's spouse's sibling

Examples of brother-in-law in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web One of the current Bonapartist pretenders—there are two, with different lineage—the Prince Murat, a descendant of Napoleon’s brother-in-law, was so offended by this that he was moved to write indignantly in Le Figaro on behalf of the Emperor’s erotic equipoise. Adam Gopnik, The New Yorker, 30 Nov. 2023 Even in the simple car example, what if your brother-in-law has already filed his 2011 tax return before the rescission, perhaps even depreciating or writing off the car? Robert W. Wood, Forbes, 29 Nov. 2023 Hardy said his brother-in-law Dale Warner told him that his wife left on April 25 with a travel bag, a phone, a curling iron and hair spray. Rudy Chinchilla, NBC News, 22 Nov. 2023 His brother-in-law, who had come to New York six months earlier, told Mr. Rodríguez there were opportunities for him in New York, and lent him money to fly here. Keith Collins, New York Times, 21 Nov. 2023 Speaking to Politico, Lollobrigida, who is also Meloni’s brother-in-law, framed the move as one that would protect Italy’s heritage of producing salami and prosciutto. Ryan Hogg, Fortune Europe, 17 Nov. 2023 The brother-in-law of former Georgia gubernatorial candidate Stacey Abrams, a Democrat, has been arrested in Florida on charges of human trafficking, battery and lewd or lascivious touching of a minor, according to the Office of the State Attorney for the 13th Judicial Circuit. Brandon Gillespie, Fox News, 18 Nov. 2023 Her new mother and brother-in-law visited the upstairs condo TJ renovated for them with gifts of cow dung and urine. Kelly Wynne, Peoplemag, 14 Nov. 2023 On Monday, a Florida jury found Charlie Adelson guilty of concocting a plot with a former girlfriend and hiring two men to kill his former brother-in-law Dan Markel in 2014. Alison Lynn, ABC News, 10 Nov. 2023 See More

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

Word History

First Known Use

14th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Time Traveler
The first known use of brother-in-law was in the 14th century

Dictionary Entries Near brother-in-law

Cite this Entry

“Brother-in-law.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 4 Dec. 2023.

Kids Definition


plural brothers-in-law
: the brother of one's husband or wife
: the husband of one's sister

More from Merriam-Webster on brother-in-law

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