broth·​er·​hood | \ ˈbrə-t͟hər-ˌhu̇d How to pronounce brotherhood (audio) \

Definition of brotherhood

1 : the quality or state of being brothers
3 : an association (such as a labor union or monastic society) for a particular purpose
4 : the whole body of persons engaged in a business or profession

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Examples of brotherhood in a Sentence

they're a brotherhood of retired war veterans a family that has been part of the brotherhood of police officers for four generations

Recent Examples on the Web

The Aussie brotherhood is strong, but Nalbandian had plenty of good Argentine vibes coming his way, too: Do it for the clay-court players, his buddies might have said. Christopher Clarey, New York Times, "In Tennis, the Backward Cap Makes No Sense. Nevertheless, It Persists.," 19 Jan. 2018 Who, besides Zane Grey and Louis L’Amour and a forgotten brotherhood of pulp novelists? Lawrence Downes, New York Times, "A Debut Novel. A Tiny Press. A Pulitzer Finalist.," 2 May 2018 By Joseph Crespino Basic, 248 pages, $27 A.C. Lee, like many leaders in the Jim Crow South, didn’t grasp the race question as a clear choice between bigotry or brotherhood. Danny Heitman, WSJ, "‘Atticus Finch: The Biography’ Review: The Writer, Her Father and Atticus Finch," 10 May 2018 The sense of brotherhood and togetherness was powerful among those successful 49ers squads, and the former teammates intimately aided Clark in buttoning his shirt and helped him in and out of his wheelchair. Tribune News Service,, "Former 49er Dwight Clark, whose catch will live forever, dies of ALS at 61," 4 June 2018 Like just about every other country in the ’60s, the former Soviet Union was home to a hippie culture of peace, love and brotherhood — when it wasn’t being persecuted by the Soviet state. Carolina A. Miranda,, "Datebook: Shots of old Route 66, dreamlike paintings and garments fashioned from paper," 12 July 2018 The two men’s joyous initial expressions of kinship and brotherhood deftly set up all that follows. Marcus Crowder, San Francisco Chronicle, "Athol Fugard’s apartheid drama ‘Lesson From Aloes’ in S.F. just brilliant," 8 June 2018 The kids’ inclusion affirmed the festival’s emphasis on rock-and-roll brotherhood. Bill Brownlee, kansascity, "Rockfest at the Kansas Speedway draws 30,000 — a big, loud, happy family," 3 June 2018 But won’t ever go away is that feeling, that brotherhood in the locker room. Drew Davison, star-telegram, "In his own words: Jason Witten's full retirement speech | Fort Worth Star-Telegram," 3 May 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'brotherhood.' 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 brotherhood

13th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for brotherhood

Middle English brotherhede, brotherhod, alteration of brotherrede, from Old English brōthorrǣden, from brōthor + rǣden condition — more at kindred entry 2

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Statistics for brotherhood

Last Updated

30 Mar 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for brotherhood

The first known use of brotherhood was in the 13th century

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More Definitions for brotherhood



English Language Learners Definition of brotherhood

: feelings of friendship, support, and understanding between people
: a group or organization of people who have the same interests, jobs, etc.


broth·​er·​hood | \ ˈbrə-t͟hər-ˌhu̇d How to pronounce brotherhood (audio) \

Kids Definition of brotherhood

1 : the state of being a brother
2 : a group of people who are engaged in the same business or have a similar interest
3 : feelings of friendship, support, and understanding between people

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Comments on brotherhood

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


highly pertinent or appropriate

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