fra·​ter·​nal | \ frə-ˈtər-nᵊl How to pronounce fraternal (audio) \

Definition of fraternal

1a : of, relating to, or involving brothers fraternal love
b : of, relating to, or being a fraternity or society a fraternal order a fraternal chapter house
2 : derived from two ova : dizygotic fraternal twins
3 : friendly, brotherly There was a fraternal feeling among the troops.

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Other Words from fraternal

fraternalism \ frə-​ˈtər-​nə-​ˌliz-​əm How to pronounce fraternalism (audio) \ noun
fraternally \ frə-​ˈtər-​nᵊl-​ē How to pronounce fraternally (audio) \ adverb

Synonyms for fraternal



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Examples of fraternal in a Sentence

He belonged to a fraternal organization. There was a fraternal feeling among the troops.

Recent Examples on the Web

The venture world tends to involve a lot of tribal knowledge traded among tight fraternal networks. Jo Piazza, Marie Claire, "Hatched at Twitter," 12 Feb. 2019 Jenny Boyd as Lizzie Saltzman Lizzie and her fraternal twin sister Josie have already been introduced on The Originals, but as much younger versions. Sydney Bucksbaum, Teen Vogue, "Meet the "Legacies" Cast and the Characters They Play in the Latest Supernatural Drama from "The Vampire Diaries" Universe," 24 Oct. 2018 Instead, these women say they were ritually humiliated and degraded in order to promote fraternal bonds between young men. If these women’s allegations are true, Kavanaugh of course bears full responsibility for them. Tara Isabella Burton, Vox, "Brett Kavanaugh and the hidden cost of male bonding," 26 Sep. 2018 Most Americans knew the Olsens, who are fraternal twins, for playing tot Michelle Tanner on the ABC sitcom Full House from 1987 to 1995 and for their later Mary-Kate and Ashley videos. Christina Binkley, WSJ, "Mary-Kate and Ashley Olsen’s The Row Launches Menswear," 27 Aug. 2018 Born and raised in Kuala Lumpur, the fraternal twins attended boarding school in England and have called London home for the past few years. Harper's BAZAAR, "Crazy Rich Couture," 15 Aug. 2018 Vincent, a fraternal triplet, is set to go home early next week, Barton said. Janelle Walker,, "'One-in-a-million': Suburban woman had son, then twins — and now has given birth to triplets," 30 Mar. 2018 Technically, this made the babies fraternal triplets fertilized by one sperm cell. Sarah Schreiber, Good Housekeeping, "A Woman "Miraculously" Became Pregnant While She Was Already Expecting," 14 Nov. 2016 The Shriners are a national fraternal organization that dates back to 1870 New York. Maria L. La Ganga, idahostatesman, "What’s behind ’60s-era paneling at El Korah Shrine? A ballroom’s worth of ’20s art.," 12 July 2018

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

15th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1a

History and Etymology for fraternal

Middle English, from Medieval Latin fraternalis, from Latin fraternus, from frater brother — more at brother

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Statistics for fraternal

Last Updated

18 Apr 2019

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Time Traveler for fraternal

The first known use of fraternal was in the 15th century

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English Language Learners Definition of fraternal

: of or relating to brothers
: made up of members who share an interest or purpose
: friendly or brotherly


fra·​ter·​nal | \ frə-ˈtər-nᵊl How to pronounce fraternal (audio) \

Kids Definition of fraternal

1 : having to do with brothers fraternal affection
2 : made up of members banded together like brothers a fraternal organization


fra·​ter·​nal | \ frə-ˈtərn-ᵊl How to pronounce fraternal (audio) \

Medical Definition of fraternal

: derived from two ova : dizygotic fraternal twins

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Comments on fraternal

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


something valued as if it were money

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