con·​fra·​ter·​ni·​ty ˌkän-frə-ˈtər-nə-tē How to pronounce confraternity (audio)
: a society devoted especially to a religious or charitable cause
: fraternal union

Examples of confraternity in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web The subject was popular among artists during the Renaissance, and Carpaccio told the overwrought story in a sequence of nine large canvases designed for a confraternity building known as the Scuola di Sant Orsola. Philip Kennicott, Washington Post, 9 Dec. 2022 In the 16th century, one confraternity built a small church inside the arena, Santa Maria della Pieta, which still exists. Elisabetta Povoledo,, 12 June 2022 Little was immediately drawn to Garvey’s ethos of self-determination and Pan-African confraternity — as was Earl Little, a Baptist minister and recent immigrant who had escaped the violence of Jim Crow Georgia. New York Times, 19 Mar. 2022 The confraternity that had the chapel built in the 15th century still exists today -- as do other similar ones. Julia Buckley, CNN, 1 Feb. 2022 Literary biographers—writers who devote their lives to other writers’ lives—are a confraternity of old soldiers who like to trade battle stories. Judith Thurman, The New Yorker, 9 Sep. 2019 The band was followed by a religious confraternity in full regalia, as members of the military police’s art-theft unit carried the statue to Monteroduni’s main church. Elisabetta Povoledo, New York Times, 22 Oct. 2017 As a result, diversity moves us further away from Martin Luther King Jr.’s dream of confraternity among different peoples and equal justice under the law and in the eyes of God. WSJ, 16 Aug. 2017

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'confraternity.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History


Middle English confraternite, from Medieval Latin confraternitat-, confraternitas, from confrater fellow, brother, from Latin com- + frater brother — more at brother

First Known Use

15th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Time Traveler
The first known use of confraternity was in the 15th century

Dictionary Entries Near confraternity

Cite this Entry

“Confraternity.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 18 Apr. 2024.

Love words? Need even more definitions?

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