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 Smart was last seen leaving a fraternity party with three friends after 2 a.m. Memorial Day weekend. Fox News, "Kristin Smart investigation: California police seize two vans belonging to family of primary suspect," 31 Jan. 2020 Kristin Smart was walking home from a fraternity party and went missing in spring 1996. Matthias Gafni,, "FBI: No agent spoke to Kristin Smart family in missing college student case," 22 Jan. 2020 She was last seen walking home from a fraternity party and her whereabouts remained a tragic mystery for years. Sarah Midkiff,, "After 23 Years, FBI Have New Information On Missing Woman Kristin Smart," 22 Jan. 2020 Several students say Hernandez had been drinking heavily at a fraternity party. CBS News, "Washington State University fraternity member died 4 hours before 911 call, coroner says," 21 Nov. 2019 Weezie Mackey has heard stories about how coworking spaces operated by big national chains can be male dominated, lack privacy and have a fraternity party feel that can be intimidating for users who want a more relaxed environment. Nancy Sarnoff, Houston Chronicle, "Houston coworking startup aims to offer 'grown-up' option," 16 Oct. 2019 Miller was unconscious on Jan. 18, 2015, when Stanford University freshman Brock Turner attacked her outside a fraternity party. Greg Hanlon,, "Stanford Sex-Assault Survivor Chanel Miller Describes Meeting Swedish Heroes Who Stopped Attack," 26 Sep. 2019 The graduate students’ new neighbors are four times their age and prefer knitting groups to fraternity parties. Amanda Blanco,, "Closing the Generation Gap: Quinnipiac students will join elderly community at Ashlar Village in Wallingford," 22 Aug. 2019 The drinks target Gen X and millennial diners, who have aged out of their fraternity party days but often want some fun with their fancy. Alina Dizik, WSJ, "‘The Classy Way of Doing a Beer Bong.’ Restaurants Push Upscale Shots," 27 Aug. 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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Time Traveler for fraternity

Time Traveler

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

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Statistics for fraternity

Last Updated

8 Feb 2020

Cite this Entry

“Fraternity.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 19 Feb. 2020.

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More Definitions for fraternity


How to pronounce fraternity (audio)

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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