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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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 Mike Gousha is a distinguished fellow in law and public policy at Marquette University Law School. Mike Gousha And John Johnson, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "Milwaukee lagging its Midwestern peers in a key metric of economic vitality: population growth," 28 May 2020 Shannon is a digital news design fellow at The Times. Jenna Wortham, New York Times, "The Joy of Regrowing My Scallions — Yes, Regrowing My Scallions," 18 May 2020 Julie Kohler is a fellow at the National Women’s Law Center (NWLC) and a senior advisor at the Democracy Alliance. Julie Kohler, refinery29.com, "Where Is America’s Jacinda Ardern? She’s Hiding In Plain Sight.," 24 Apr. 2020 Mike Yeomans Mike Yeomans is currently a postdoctoral fellow at Harvard Business School and will be starting as an assistant professor at Imperial College Business School this summer. Mike Yeomans, Scientific American, "The Right Way to Talk across Divides," 21 Apr. 2020 Yuliya Panfil is a senior fellow and director of New America's Future of Property Rights program. CNN, "The government needs to do more to help desperate renters," 15 Apr. 2020 This is in contrast to the 2009 American Recovery and Reinvestment Act stimulus, says coauthor Billy Fleming, who directs the Ian L. McHarg Center at the University of Pennsylvania and is a senior fellow at Data for Progress. Ula Chrobak, Popular Science, "An environmental stimulus bill could help us bounce back from COVID-19," 1 Apr. 2020 Blaine Finch, who helped draft the final version, told fellow Republicans. Fox News, "Kansas governor’s decision to close all schools sees GOP pushback," 20 Mar. 2020 These details were documented in a judicial review filed last month by Wong and Agnes Chow, an activist and fellow founding member of political party Demosisto who was arrested alongside Wong and also had her phone confiscated. Mary Hui, Quartz, "Hong Kong’s mass arrests are giving police crucial intelligence: people’s phones," 6 May 2020

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

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

3 Jun 2020

Cite this Entry

“Fellow.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/fellow. Accessed 5 Jun. 2020.

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More Definitions for fellow


How to pronounce fellow (audio)

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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More from Merriam-Webster on fellow

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for fellow

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with fellow

Spanish Central: Translation of fellow

Nglish: Translation of fellow for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of fellow for Arabic Speakers

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