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 fraternal (audio) \ noun
fraternally \ frə-​ˈtər-​nᵊl-​ē How to pronounce fraternal (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 Keno will be allowed at fraternal organizations, veterans' clubs and horse tracks and off-track betting sites that have lottery licenses, or about 250 locations in the state, according to an analysis of the bill by the JLBC. Ryan Randazzo, The Arizona Republic, "Legal sports betting could start by end of year in Arizona after Legislature approves wagering bill," 12 Apr. 2021 The show routinely sheds light on the fraternal aspect of basketball. Hua Hsu, The New Yorker, "The Rise of the Athlete Podcaster," 29 Mar. 2021 Greenwood boasted a hospital, two theaters, a public library, at least a dozen churches, three fraternal lodges, and a rotating cast of restaurants, hairdressers and corner dives, serving about 11,000 people. Victor Luckerson, Smithsonian Magazine, "The Promise of Oklahoma," 17 Mar. 2021 This country-soul lullaby from Alabama singer-songwriter-bassist Shonna Tucker is a touching ode to fraternal companionship and the type of trust that turns close friends into family. Jonathan Bernstein, Rolling Stone, "RS Country Music Picks for Week of March 8th," 8 Mar. 2021 After World War II, a fraternal rift caused the Dasslers to part ways. Martin Fritz Huber, Outside Online, "Will Puma Finally Break Through in Running?," 27 Feb. 2021 The film is a wholehearted and hilarious ode to a fraternal bond more profound and enduring than any romantic attachment. Carlos Aguilar, Los Angeles Times, "Review: Is ‘The Climb’ the greatest bromantic comedy ever?," 11 Nov. 2020 The testing was able to correctly identify which of her triplets was the fraternal sibling, but while their heritage was categorized as Southern European, the ancestry composition didn’t mention anything specifically about Italy. Rachael Rifkin, Good Housekeeping, "Two Sisters Took a DNA Test — It Revealed That Everything They Knew About Their Family Was Wrong," 6 Nov. 2020 In late October of 1931, some 18,000 laborers, fraternal organization members, and veterans took to the streets of Newark, New Jersey. National Geographic, "Women campaigned for Prohibition—then many changed their minds," 2 Nov. 2020

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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Time Traveler for fraternal

Time Traveler

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

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Statistics for fraternal

Last Updated

16 Apr 2021

Cite this Entry

“Fraternal.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 9 May. 2021.

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More Definitions for fraternal



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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