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

Keep scrolling for more

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

There needs to be a strong stress on brotherhood and living in peace. Washington Post, "Decades after fleeing, Kashmiri Hindus still fear going back," 5 Sep. 2019 Harvard symbologist Robert Langdon joins forces with an Italian scientist to prevent an ancient brotherhood’s plot against the Vatican from coming to fruition. Los Angeles Times, "Movies on TV this week Sept. 1 - 7, 2019: John Wayne in ‘The Searchers’ and more," 30 Aug. 2019 There’s not really any competition or selfishness, just a brotherhood. Mark Inabinett |, al, "Damien Harris hits the ground running with New England Patriots," 18 Aug. 2019 Meanwhile, on Monday, Mexico's president urged the promotion of universal brotherhood. Haley Ott, CBS News, "Mexican government demands protection for Mexicans in the U.S. in wake of El Paso shooting," 5 Aug. 2019 Orbán is smart enough to know that Hunnic hordes and pan-Turkic brotherhoods are useful ways of maintaining his hegemony through popular enthusiasm. Jacob Mikanowski, Harper's magazine, "The Call of the Drums," 21 July 2019 As a member of the Roman Catholic brotherhood, Tabichi wore a plain floor-length brown robe to receive the award presented by Dubai’s Crown Prince Sheikh Hamdan bin Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum. Aya Batrawy, The Seattle Times, "Kenyan who gave earnings to poor wins $1M teacher prize," 25 Mar. 2019 Doug Coe, the purported leader of the Fellowship, had long expressed admiration for the ways in which leaders engendered loyalty through brotherhood, citing Hitler, Mao, and the Mafia as inspiration. Sophie Gilbert, The Atlantic, "The Patriarchal Allure of The Family," 14 Aug. 2019 Macneal deftly paints her fictional heroine into the colorful lives of the pre-Raphaelite brotherhood, those radical reformers, including Dante Gabriel Rossetti, who strove to reinvigorate the arts. Ron Charles, Dallas News, "'The Doll Factory' is a page-turning Victorian thriller," 13 Aug. 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.

See More

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

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about brotherhood

Statistics for brotherhood

Last Updated

14 Sep 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for brotherhood

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

See more words from the same century

Keep scrolling for more

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

Keep scrolling for more

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).


miscellaneous remnants or debris

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

The Exceptions Quiz III

  • one green toy robot amidst many red toy robots
  • Which of these words does not mean "nonsense"?
True or False

Test your knowledge - and maybe learn something along the way.

Word Winder's CrossWinder

Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!