noun, often attributive
fel·low | \ˈfe-(ˌ)lō \

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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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

Fox Business Trade War Prediction Economist Stephen Roach, a Yale senior fellow and former Morgan Stanley Asia chair, reckons the U.S. will lose its trade war with China. Alan Murray, Fortune, "Trump and NATO, Papa John's Out, Broadcom Buys CA: CEO Daily for July 12, 2018," 12 July 2018 Todd Tucker, fellow and political scientist at the Roosevelt Institute There are absolutely still off-ramps. Emily Stewart, Vox, "Can the US-China trade war be stopped? 11 experts weigh in.," 8 July 2018 Pfeiffer is a senior policy fellow at the Bloustein Center for Local Government at Rutgers University and worked for almost four decades in New Jersey government administration. Max Cohen, Philly.com, "Is time up for tiny towns in New Jersey? Some say mergers would save money and lower taxes, but skeptics disagree," 3 July 2018 Kevin Bowcutt - Boeing's senior technical fellow and chief scientist of hypersonics - told Wired the aircraft could be designed to travel at even faster rates of speed. Peter Holley, chicagotribune.com, "Flying from New York to London in two hours is on the horizon, Boeing says," 29 June 2018 Barnes, a senior fellow and Compton Visiting Professor in World Politics at the University of Virginia’s Miller Center, brings to the foundation a unique mix of professional knowledge and personal experience. Samantha Willis, Glamour, "Thomas Jefferson Owned Hundreds of Slaves. Now, a Black Woman Will Run His Foundation.," 29 June 2018 Big cities like San Francisco, Boston, and Denver led the growth, according to Mark Muro, a senior fellow and policy director at the Metropolitan Policy Program at Brookings. Alana Semuels, The Atlantic, "I Delivered Packages for Amazon and It Was a Nightmare," 25 June 2018 Bill Whalen, a Hoover Institution research fellow and former speechwriter for Gov. Pete Wilson, noted that despite the stakes in Sacramento, most Assembly and Senate primary contests are quiet affairs that voters ignore. Melody Gutierrez, San Francisco Chronicle, "Democrats look to make GOP irrelevant again in California Legislature," 1 June 2018 The governor, who also served as a White House fellow and wrote a best-selling book, entered the 2016 gubernatorial race as an outsider. BostonGlobe.com, "Missouri Governor Eric Greitens resigns amid affair scandal," 29 May 2018

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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Learn More about fellow

Statistics for fellow

Last Updated

22 Oct 2018

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for fellow

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

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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

: a member of a group of people who have shared interests, activities, etc.


fel·low | \ˈfe-lō \

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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Comments on fellow

What made you want to look up fellow? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


to teach someone the beliefs of a group

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