broth·​er | \ ˈbrə-t͟hər How to pronounce brother (audio) \
plural brothers also brethren\ ˈbret͟h-​rən How to pronounce brother (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 : a Black boy or man : 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 Jack Ragnow, Frank's younger brother, watched the Minnesota Timberwolves angrily on TV. Dave Birkett, Detroit Free Press, "Detroit Lions' Frank Ragnow emotional after new contract: 'It’s kind of hard to fathom'," 7 May 2021 But in January, President Donald Trump pardoned Casey after an earlier visit to the White House from Urlacher’s brother, former Chicago Bears linebacker Brian Urlacher. Lisa Donovan,, "The Spin: After Trump pardon, Casey Urlacher eyeing state Senate run? | Inside ex-Ald. Danny Solis’ deal with feds | Dorothy Brown leading new Dolton Mayor Tiffany Henyard’s transition team," 7 May 2021 The confident brother is landed gentry and wants to buy Thea's house, which abuts his property. Laurie Hertzel, Star Tribune, "Bookmark: Light novels help get through hard times," 7 May 2021 Flores also has a close relationship coaching Jason’s twin brother Devin after coaching him for nine seasons in New England. Safid Deen,, "Dolphins agree to deal with veteran Jason McCourty, who played under Brian Flores in New England," 6 May 2021 Investigators found his body about three months later, after getting a tip from the boyfriend’s brother. cleveland, "25 years of deaths: A look back at child slayings among families known to Cuyahoga County’s child-welfare agency," 6 May 2021 The California resident and wealthy brother of former Utah Gov. Jon Huntsman Jr. lacks a valid legal argument to bring the claim to recover his donations, church attorneys argued Wednesday in a new court filing seeking to shut down the case. The Salt Lake Tribune, "LDS Church urges court to toss out James Huntsman’s lawsuit, says his bid for tithing refund is ‘without merit’," 6 May 2021 The leadership team included Halsey Beshears’ brother Thad Beshears and Kim Rivers, an attorney and developer whose husband is a longtime friend of Halsey Beshears. Jason Garcia,, "Matt Gaetz helped set off Florida’s marijuana ‘green rush.’ Some of his friends, allies scored big," 6 May 2021 The brother also persuaded them to meet with his personal representative, who was actually an undercover FBI agent, court records show. Washington Post, "He told cocaine traffickers a bribe would clear their charges. Now, he’s headed to prison for scamming them.," 6 May 2021

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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Time Traveler for brother

Time Traveler

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

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Statistics for brother

Last Updated

10 May 2021

Cite this Entry

“Brother.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 16 May. 2021.

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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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