noun, often attributive
fel·​low | \ ˈfe-(ˌ)lō How to pronounce fellow (audio) \

Definition of fellow

1 : comrade, associate was eager to rejoin his fellows
2a : an equal in rank, power, or character : peer discussions among a group of fellows from the nearby Los Alamos National Laboratory— Roger Lewin
b : one of a pair : mate
3 : a member of a group having common characteristics specifically : a member of an incorporated literary or scientific society a fellow of the American College of Surgeons
4a obsolete : a person of one of the lower social classes
b archaic : a worthless man or boy
c : man, boy He seems like a fine fellow.
d : boyfriend, beau She and her fellow went to the movies.
5 : an incorporated member of a college or collegiate foundation especially in a British university
6 : a person appointed to a position granting a stipend and allowing for advanced study or research

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Synonyms for fellow


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Did You Know?

The Old Norse word for a partner, felagi, means literally “one who puts down property.” Such people were those who laid together their property for some common purpose. Old English borrowed felagi from Old Norse and called a partner a feolaga. This word has come down to us, through several centuries and the development of a number of senses, as modern English fellow. Perhaps its most common use today is its very general one, in which it is applied to any boy or man.

Examples of fellow in a Sentence

fellows and girls at a party a young fellow like you Your son's a bright little fellow. She's found herself a new fellow. a fellow of the American College of Surgeons a Fellow of the Royal Society
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Recent Examples on the Web Ramesh Ponnuru, a visiting fellow at the American Enterprise Institute, noted the companies and executives who signed the statement took no stands on any specific provisions of voting reforms. Sarah Westwood, Washington Examiner, "Corporate America sends mixed messages on voting rights," 15 Apr. 2021 Perry, a psychiatrist and senior fellow for the Child Trauma Academy, is one of the leading authorities on effects trauma can have on the brain, Winfrey said. Elise Brisco, USA TODAY, "Oprah Winfrey's new book 'What Happened to You,' book tour to focus on trauma," 15 Apr. 2021 Will his fellow The Circle contestants listen to him? Tamara Fuentes, Seventeen, "Meet the Cast of "The Circle" Season 2," 14 Apr. 2021 Jonathan Blanks, a visiting fellow at the Foundation for Research on Equal Opportunity who focuses on policing, said people often look to Washington for help with big, systemic problems. Brad Brooks, The Christian Science Monitor, "Facing gridlock in Washington, police reformers press locally," 13 Apr. 2021 Kofi Ampaabeng is a senior research fellow and data scientist and Elise Amez-Droz is a program manager at the Mercatus Center at George Mason University. Kofi Ampaabeng, Fortune, "How to make the health care system fairer for young people," 13 Apr. 2021 Tom Loveless is an education researcher, former teacher, and former senior fellow at the Brookings Institution who has been studying education policy for many years. Jonathan Wai, Forbes, "Understanding Education Policy Failures Is Key To Improving Future Policies And Research," 12 Apr. 2021 Caught up in their own dislike of the secular republic that replaced the Ottoman Empire, the Islamists distrust the Montreux Convention, said Asli Aydintasbas, a senior fellow with the European Council on Foreign Relations. New York Times, "Sliding in the Polls, Erdogan Kicks Up a New Storm Over the Bosporus," 10 Apr. 2021 Atlas was a radiologist and senior fellow at Stanford University’s conservative Hoover Institution who caught the White House’s attention after defending the Trump administration’s handling of coronavirus on Fox News. BostonGlobe.com, "‘Yippee!!!’: Trump officials celebrated efforts to change CDC reports on coronavirus, e-mails show," 9 Apr. 2021

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

before the 12th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for fellow

Middle English felawe, from Old English fēolaga, from Old Norse fēlagi, from fēlag partnership, from cattle, money + lag act of laying

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Time Traveler for fellow

Time Traveler

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

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Statistics for fellow

Last Updated

19 Apr 2021

Cite this Entry

“Fellow.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/fellow. Accessed 20 Apr. 2021.

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More Definitions for fellow



English Language Learners Definition of fellow

: a male person : a boy or man
: a male companion of a girl or woman
old-fashioned : a member of a group of people who have shared interests, activities, etc.


fel·​low | \ ˈfe-lō How to pronounce fellow (audio) \

Kids Definition of fellow

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1 : a male person



Kids Definition of fellow (Entry 2 of 2)

: belonging to the same group or class my fellow Americans


fel·​low | \ ˈfel-(ˌ)ō, -ə(-w) \

Medical Definition of fellow

: a young physician who has completed training as an intern and resident and has been granted a stipend and position allowing him or her to do further study or research in a specialty

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