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 This is the time to maintain peace, unity and brotherhood. Archana Chaudhary,, "Why Hindu Nationalism Keeps Gaining Ground in India," 16 Dec. 2019 Rolando Guzman, 25, describes the relationship between Good Shepherd and his community as a brotherhood. Stefania Lugli,, "Acton church, Salvadoran village pray and grow together," 19 Feb. 2020 Chevalier preaches basketball as a brotherhood, and hopes the Sierra Canyon culture can help Boston as a teammate at Kentucky, too. Greg Levinsky, The Courier-Journal, "B.J. Boston says career has prepared him for the attention coming with Kentucky basketball," 19 Jan. 2020 When members of his platoon reported his actions to superior officers, fissures were revealed in the polished image of the SEALs and the unwritten code of silence among members of the secretive force, who see themselves as a brotherhood. Dave Philipps, New York Times, "Navy SEAL Chief Accused of War Crimes Is Found Not Guilty of Murder," 2 July 2019 The star signified my membership in the munchkin division of the Communist brotherhood—known as October’s Children, oktyabryata—the duty and privilege of every boy and girl aged seven to nine. Alex Halberstadt, The New Yorker, "October’s Child: The Year I Left the Soviet Union," 5 Apr. 2020 Ijichi’s world is one of passionate love affairs, torturous police interrogations, chopped-off pinkies (a show of loyalty to the brotherhood), and even murder. Ashlea Halpern, Condé Nast Traveler, "Best Books to Read if You're Dreaming of Japan," 30 Mar. 2020 The fixed smiles and expansive talk of socialist brotherhood are par for the course. The Economist, "Kim Jong Un entertains Xi Jinping at home," 21 June 2019 It’s time to go back to love, peace and brotherhood. Letter Writers, Twin Cities, "Letters: It’s the liberals who won’t behave. So bill the DNC instead," 10 Oct. 2019

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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Time Traveler for brotherhood

Time Traveler

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

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Statistics for brotherhood

Last Updated

24 May 2020

Cite this Entry

“Brotherhood.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 5 Jun. 2020.

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More Definitions for brotherhood


How to pronounce brotherhood (audio)

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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