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

In her consideration for the prize Brakeman joins the ranks of some pretty impressive comedic giants and memoirists, including David Sedaris, Bob Newhart, Dave Berry and Paula Poundstone, a fellow semifinalist for this year’s award. Sara Cardine, latimes.com, "LCF author Kristen Brakeman named semifinalist in Thurber Prize for Humor contest," 12 July 2018 Would Johnson love to play for the Hornets and study under forward Marvin Williams, a fellow Tar Heel and one of his mentors? Brendan Marks, charlotteobserver, "His NBA chances dwindling, ex-UNC star Brice Johnson only wants 1 thing from Hornets," 2 July 2018 This insight comes from a fellow who, against all odds, survived his jump off the Golden Gate Bridge on September 25, 2000. Melissa Fay Greene, The Cut, "A mother considers her son’s final thoughts and a type of suicide we don’t fully understand.," 24 June 2018 Siegal, who will begin his six months of distance learning in the fall and start traveling through this program next year, is honored to have been selected as a fellow. Sergio Carmona, Jewish Journal, "South Florida Jewish leader selected for transatlantic fellowship," 14 June 2018 That propane tank was seen by a neighbor, a fellow Marine, that morning in the back of Chris Lee's Jeep. Paul Larosa, CBS News, "Search for missing Marine wife "like finding a needle in a thousand haystacks”," 12 June 2018 Italian Premier Giuseppe Conte thanked Spain Monday for responding to Italy's appeal for a fellow European Union country to receive the asylum-seekers. Bloomberg.com, "Spain to Allow Boat Carrying 629 Migrants to Dock at Valencia," 11 June 2018 When questioned by a fellow Tweeter about his criticism, Neil quickly defended his opinion. Kayla Keegan, Good Housekeeping, "9 Things You Missed During the 2018 Tony Awards Last Night," 11 June 2018 McNicol is this year’s BalletX choreographic fellow, and he was paired up with Neenan as his mentor. Ellen Dunkel, Philly.com, "BalletX heats up the summer with 3 premieres and live music," 12 July 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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Statistics for fellow

Last Updated

10 Sep 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).


occurring twice a year or every two years

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