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 The Policy Matters report is correct that the COVID-19 shutdowns impacted low-income people the most, said Greg Lawson, a research fellow at the Buckeye Institute, a free-market think tank based in Columbus. Julie Washington, cleveland, 7 Sep. 2021 Ahmed Soliman, a research fellow at Chatham House and an expert on the Horn of Africa, said Abiy's reform plan also increased expectations among constituencies with conflicting agendas, further heightening tensions. Eliza Mackintosh, CNN, 7 Sep. 2021 The 49ers’ players seem to agree that Garoppolo is a great fellow, well-liked and respected. Scott Ostler, San Francisco Chronicle, 1 Sep. 2021 Lyman Stone, a research fellow at the Institute for Family Studies, tracks fertility intentions in surveys and keeps a close eye on state-level birth data. New York Times, 13 Aug. 2021 Atmospheric Research fellow and climate scientist at the University of California, Los Angeles. David Benda, USA TODAY, 12 Aug. 2021 For additional comic relief, there’s a fellow named Gerald, an old hand who has worked on the farm for 50 years. Kyle Smith, National Review, 8 Aug. 2021 Each organization will work with a Bloomberg Tech fellow, who will help support the digital infrastructure of the cultural non-profit through training and development work. Brayden Garcia, Dallas News, 20 July 2021 One challenge for the IRS is that each company tends to interpret tax laws differently, says Matt Gardner, a senior fellow at the Institute on Taxation and Economic Policy, a left-leaning Washington nonprofit organization. Author: Douglas Macmillan, Kevin Schaul, Anchorage Daily News, 14 July 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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Dictionary Entries Near fellow



fellow commoner

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Statistics for fellow

Last Updated

10 Sep 2021

Cite this Entry

“Fellow.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/fellow. Accessed 19 Sep. 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 : boyfriend
: 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

More from Merriam-Webster on fellow

Nglish: Translation of fellow for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of fellow for Arabic Speakers


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