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

Hemsworth, meanwhile, has been spending time in his native Australia, and was spotted earlier this month hitting the surf with brother Chris Hemsworth. Rachel Desantis,, "Liam Hemsworth Breaks Silence on His Split with Miley Cyrus: 'I Wish Her Nothing But Happiness'," 13 Aug. 2019 Bret, together with his brother Jean-Guillaume, started making and selling their own estate wines under the La Soufrandière name in 2000. Fortune, "Wine Drinkers Should Pay More Attention to This Lesser-Known Spot in Burgundy," 10 Aug. 2019 Adel dropped out of school to scrounge for plastic along with his brothers. Heidi Levine, National Geographic, "Plastics in the Gaza Strip are both a curse and a blessing," 7 Aug. 2019 Ryan Stump, who runs the facility with his brother Brandon, said there has been only one complaint about Ohio House violating the city’s standard against over-concentration of sober-living homes. Hillary Davis, Daily Pilot, "Costa Mesa council shoots down permit for five-unit sober-living facility," 7 Aug. 2019 Steve Starkman now runs the business with his brother Lonnie Starkman. Denys Bucksten,, "Mustard’s Last Stand in Evanston celebrates 50 years: ‘You always get a friendly hello’," 6 Aug. 2019 Dayton police have said Megan Betts and a male friend spent a portion of Saturday night with her brother, and the trio traveled together to the Oregon District. Anne Saker, USA TODAY, "Dayton shooting: Gunman killed his sister, but was the ‘sororicide' intentional?," 5 Aug. 2019 Just having him out here, and just [talking] with each other, it’s fun to see one of your brothers out here just living his life. Safid Deen,, "Kendrick Norton, who had arm amputated in car crash, uplifts Dolphins’ spirits with visit to training camp," 5 Aug. 2019 Andy Baraghani glimpsed Maggie with her brother Jake at Mettā in Brooklyn. Alex Beggs, Bon Appétit, "What My Dream Grocery Store Looks Like," 3 Aug. 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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Statistics for brother

Last Updated

16 Aug 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for brother

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

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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

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

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


not constant or steady

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