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

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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

The woman, identified as Melissa Lenz by KFOR-News, allegedly entered the Lambda Chi Alpha fraternity at Oklahoma City University on Sunday through the front door, which was unlocked. Madeline Farber, Fox News, "Oklahoma woman arrested after she allegedly burglarizes, defecates in fraternity house: report," 28 Sep. 2018 Apparently, back in October 2016, three people were shot at a nearby gas station parking lot after a private party hosted by a black fraternity at the Cypress Inn was shut down. Breanna Edwards, The Root, "'We've Had Problems With Your Kind Before': Black Frat Files Racial-Discrimination Lawsuit Against Alabama Restaurant," 5 July 2018 Photos also emerged of members of the Sigma Nu fraternity at another party earlier this year wearing ribbed tank tops, gold chains and bandannas. Hailey Branson-potts,, "After blackface incident, minority students at Cal Poly San Luis Obispo say they don't feel welcome," 25 Apr. 2018 Piazza, a sophomore engineering major from New Jersey, was pledging the Beta Theta Pi fraternity at Penn State. Susan Snyder,, "Tougher penalties for hazing likely in Pennsylvania," 18 Apr. 2018 Dozens of other whites, including college fraternities and sororities, public officials and law enforcement officers, have also been criticized for blackface incidents. Jesse J. Holland, The Seattle Times, "Explaining the outrage: Racist history of American blackface began in the 1830s," 6 Feb. 2019 Teen Vogue has reached out to Harvard University and the fraternities and sororities involved for comment. Suzannah Weiss, Teen Vogue, "Fraternities and Sororities Sue Harvard Over Punishment of Single-Sex Groups," 4 Dec. 2018 Parents and national leaders of fraternities and sororities launching a nationwide anti-hazing campaign spoke to Fox News, expressing deep concern about the deaths of too many young college students. Frank Miles, Fox News, "Greek life leaders and parents of hazing victims join forces to save lives," 12 Sep. 2018 Baker and Jealous have courted African American sororities and fraternities and attended events for black professionals in their attempts to secure crucial votes in black communities. Rachel Chason, Washington Post, "‘A party in transition’: Maryland Democratic field includes many potential firsts," 24 June 2018

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.

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First Known Use of fraternity

14th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

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Statistics for fraternity

Last Updated

22 Mar 2019

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Time Traveler for fraternity

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

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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)

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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).


grandiloquent, ostentatious, or bombastic

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