fra·​ter·​ni·​ty | \ frə-ˈtər-nə-tē How to pronounce fraternity (audio) \
plural fraternities

Definition of fraternity

1 : a group of people associated or formally organized for a common purpose, interest, or pleasure: such as
a : a fraternal order
c : a men's student organization formed chiefly for social purposes having secret rites and a name consisting of Greek letters
d : a student organization for scholastic, professional, or extracurricular activities a debating fraternity
2 : the quality or state of being brothers : brotherliness
3 : persons of the same class, profession, character, or tastes the racetrack fraternity

Keep scrolling for more

Examples of fraternity in a Sentence

an atmosphere of fraternity and cooperation a firm believer in community service and a dedicated member of the local fraternity of Good Samaritans

Recent Examples on the Web

In this changing world, the fraternity necessary for social solidarity is being experienced as cultural majoritarianism. Ajay Gudavarthy, Quartz India, "Neoliberalism is killing the very idea of citizenship in India," 2 Sep. 2019 Just catching up as brothers in the quarterback fraternity always do. Dan Wiederer,, "‘This was all so sudden’: The inside story on how Andrew Luck’s retirement news stunned the Bears and Colts fans as it spread across Lucas Oil Stadium," 25 Aug. 2019 By last spring, Dewerk’s name had become household in the college coaching fraternity. Mike Lefkow, The Mercury News, "The Fab Forty, No. 5: Los Gatos lineman has one big goal," 14 Aug. 2019 At right is the fraternity's General President Dr. Everett Ward, with William Gillespie, left. San Diego Union-Tribune, "San Diego black fraternity chapter honors members for half-century of service," 10 Aug. 2019 The Richmond Times-Dispatch reports the fraternity is not recognized by the university and was formed by members of Kappa Delta Rho when that chapter was suspended for violating alcohol policies. USA TODAY, "Smokey Bear, tarantula trek, censoring Adam and Eve: News from around our 50 states," 9 Aug. 2019 Every year one-fourth of the NFL’s head coaches—the fraternity of 32 of the world's greatest pro football minds—get fired. Jonathan Jones,, "Dave Gettleman Doesn’t Care What You Think," 6 Aug. 2019 The students have since been suspended from the fraternity. Tribune Content Agency, al, "Ole Miss investigating response to students posing with Emmett Till sign, guns," 30 July 2019 Gruver died after consuming massive amounts of alcohol during a hazing incident at the Phi Delta Theta fraternity. Leada Gore |,, "Former LSU student convicted in fraternity hazing death," 18 July 2019

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'fraternity.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

See More

First Known Use of fraternity

14th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about fraternity

Statistics for fraternity

Last Updated

6 Sep 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for fraternity

The first known use of fraternity was in the 14th century

See more words from the same century

Keep scrolling for more

More Definitions for fraternity



English Language Learners Definition of fraternity

: an organization of male students at a U.S. college
: a group of people who have the same job, interests, etc.
formal : the feeling of friendship that exists between people in a group


fra·​ter·​ni·​ty | \ frə-ˈtər-nə-tē How to pronounce fraternity (audio) \
plural fraternities

Kids Definition of fraternity

: a club of boys or men (as in a college)

Keep scrolling for more

Comments on fraternity

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


authorized for issue (as a bond)

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Musical Words Quiz

  • gramophone
  • Which word describes a musical performance marked by the absence of instrumental accompaniment?
True or False

Test your knowledge - and maybe learn something along the way.

Word Winder's CrossWinder

Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!